Podcast

Cerebral Aneurysm Misdiagnosis Lawsuits

Up to One-Fourth of Patients with Ruptured Brain Aneurysms Are Misdiagnosed or Experience a Delay in Diagnosis

A cerebral aneurysm, also known as an intracranial aneurysm or brain aneurysm, is an abnormal bulging or ballooning of an artery in the brain that can put pressure on surrounding nerves and brain tissue. Aneurysms form as the result of a weakening or thinning of the wall of a blood vessel, making them prone to rupture, which results in bleeding into or around the brain.

Once an aneurysm ruptures, 10 percent to 15 percent of patients die before reaching medical care and up to 50 percent die within two weeks. Of those patients who do survive, 30 percent suffer a moderate or severe disability and most are unable to return to the same quality of life they enjoyed prior to the rupture.

Early diagnosis is critical to avoid patient fatalities and devastating neurological outcomes. Yet, up to one-fourth of patients with ruptured brain aneurysms are either misdiagnosed or experience a delay in diagnosis when they initially seek medical attention. In three out of four cases, misdiagnosis results when doctors fail to do brain imaging. Physicians commonly misdiagnose cerebral aneurysms as migraine or tension headaches.

What Are the Symptoms of a Cerebral Aneurysm?

When a cerebral aneurysm is large enough to press on surrounding nerves and brain tissue, the patient will often experience one or more neurological symptoms, including:

  • Unilateral (one-sided) headache
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Ptosis (a drooping eyelid)
  • Pain above or behind one eye
  • A dilated pupil
  • Numbness of one side of the face
  • Sensitivity to light

What Tests Are Used to Diagnose a Cerebral Aneurysm?

Diagnostic tests used to determine whether a cerebral aneurysm exists and, if so, whether it has already ruptured, are:

  • Computed Tomography (CT) scans
  • CT angiography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) analysis

How Are Cerebral Aneurysms Treated?

Treatment methods for both ruptured and unruptured cerebral aneurysms include:

  • Microvascular clipping. This procedure requires open brain surgery. A doctor places a tiny metal clip across the base of the aneurysm to stop its blood supply.
  • Platinum coil embolization. In this procedure, the aneurysm is filled with tiny coils of platinum wire, which destroy the aneurysm by causing the blood within it to clot.
  • Flow diversion devices. This option involves placing a small stent in the artery to reduce blood flow into the aneurysm.

Medications and rehabilitative physical, speech and occupational therapy also may be necessary.

Trial Lawyers for Life’s Most Challenging Moments

For more than 30 years, the attorneys at Feldman Shepherd have achieved record-breaking results in medical malpractice lawsuits for patients and their families who have been harmed when medical practitioners misdiagnose or fail to timely diagnose cerebral aneurysms and other serious conditions. We are one of a small number of law firms that includes in our ranks an emergency medicine doctor/board certified family practitioner and two nurses all of whom are lawyers, and we additionally consult with preeminent medical experts to give us a deep understanding of the medical issues you face and to inform our litigation strategy.

If you need help following a doctor’s failure to diagnose and treat a cerebral aneurysm, you can count on the Feldman Shepherd team to help secure all of the compensation to which you are entitled, including compensation for your pain and suffering, financial losses, emotional distress, and medical expenses, while keeping you fully informed as to every step of your medical malpractice case.

Up to One-Fourth of Patients with Ruptured Brain Aneurysms Are Misdiagnosed or Experience a Delay in Diagnosis

A cerebral aneurysm, also known as an intracranial aneurysm or brain aneurysm, is an abnormal bulging or ballooning of an artery in the brain that can put pressure on surrounding nerves and brain tissue. Aneurysms form as the result of a weakening or thinning of the wall of a blood vessel, making them prone to rupture, which results in bleeding into or around the brain.

Once an aneurysm ruptures, 10 percent to 15 percent of patients die before reaching medical care and up to 50 percent die within two weeks. Of those patients who do survive, 30 percent suffer a moderate or severe disability and most are unable to return to the same quality of life they enjoyed prior to the rupture.

Early diagnosis is critical to avoid patient fatalities and devastating neurological outcomes. Yet, up to one-fourth of patients with ruptured brain aneurysms are either misdiagnosed or experience a delay in diagnosis when they initially seek medical attention. In three out of four cases, misdiagnosis results when doctors fail to do brain imaging. Physicians commonly misdiagnose cerebral aneurysms as migraine or tension headaches.

What Are the Symptoms of a Cerebral Aneurysm?

When a cerebral aneurysm is large enough to press on surrounding nerves and brain tissue, the patient will often experience one or more neurological symptoms, including:

  • Unilateral (one-sided) headache
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Ptosis (a drooping eyelid)
  • Pain above or behind one eye
  • A dilated pupil
  • Numbness of one side of the face
  • Sensitivity to light

What Tests Are Used to Diagnose a Cerebral Aneurysm?

Diagnostic tests used to determine whether a cerebral aneurysm exists and, if so, whether it has already ruptured, are:

  • Computed Tomography (CT) scans
  • CT angiography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) analysis

How Are Cerebral Aneurysms Treated?

Treatment methods for both ruptured and unruptured cerebral aneurysms include:

  • Microvascular clipping. This procedure requires open brain surgery. A doctor places a tiny metal clip across the base of the aneurysm to stop its blood supply.
  • Platinum coil embolization. In this procedure, the aneurysm is filled with tiny coils of platinum wire, which destroy the aneurysm by causing the blood within it to clot.
  • Flow diversion devices. This option involves placing a small stent in the artery to reduce blood flow into the aneurysm.

Medications and rehabilitative physical, speech and occupational therapy also may be necessary.

Trial Lawyers for Life’s Most Challenging Moments

For more than 30 years, the attorneys at Feldman Shepherd have achieved record-breaking results in medical malpractice lawsuits for patients and their families who have been harmed when medical practitioners misdiagnose or fail to timely diagnose cerebral aneurysms and other serious conditions. We are one of a small number of law firms that includes in our ranks an emergency medicine doctor/board certified family practitioner and two nurses all of whom are lawyers, and we additionally consult with preeminent medical experts to give us a deep understanding of the medical issues you face and to inform our litigation strategy.

If you need help following a doctor’s failure to diagnose and treat a cerebral aneurysm, you can count on the Feldman Shepherd team to help secure all of the compensation to which you are entitled, including compensation for your pain and suffering, financial losses, emotional distress, and medical expenses, while keeping you fully informed as to every step of your medical malpractice case.

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