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Aneurysms and Medical Malpractice

By Norman Younker on December 26, 2012


Aneurysms and Medical MalpracticeAn aneurysm is defined as the abnormal expansion of the artery as a result of a weakness in the blood vessel walls. An aneurysm can affect the heart, brain, leg, intestine, and spleen. When diagnosed and treated before the aneurysm ruptures, patient prognosis is usually good. In cases in which medical professionals fail to diagnose or misdiagnose an aneurysm, the effects can be devastating. A ruptured aneurysm may lead to brain damage, paralysis, and death. If you or loved one experienced a ruptured aneurysm and you believe medical malpractice was involved, you may be entitled to damages. Our Salt Lake City medical malpractice attorneys will investigate your claim and help you build a strong case.

Aneurysm Symptoms

Unfortunately, many patients and medical professionals do not recognize the symptoms of an aneurysm before it ruptures. Symptoms may present themselves, and tend to be specific to the type of aneurysm that occurs.

Abdominal (Aortic Artery) Aneurysm

  • Chronic pain or discomfort in the abdomen, lower back, flanks; pain may begin to affect the groin, buttocks, or legs
  • Toes or feet that begin to look purple or black due to lack of blood flow
  • A pulsating feeling in the stomach
  • Loss of weight
  • Fever

Thoracic (Aortic Artery) Aneurysm

  • Chest pain
  • Back pain
  • Chronic cough
  • Hoarse throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty swallowing, may be accompanied by pain when swallowing

Brain (Cerebral Artery) Aneurysm

  • Pain near the eyes, usually above and behind an eye
  • A pupil that is dilated
  • Vision changes or sudden onset of double vision
  • A feeling of weakness, numbness, or paralysis that affects one side of the face
  • Eyelid ptosis, or the drooping of one eyelid

Knee (Popliteal Artery) Aneurysm

  • Swelling in the knee, lower leg, and foot
  • The formation of an edema (an abnormal accumulation of fluid) near the knee
  • Pain, numbness, and/or tingling in the lower leg and foot
  • An increased blue or red skin tone in the lower leg and foot
  • Poor circulation to the lower legs and feet
  • More visible varicose veins
  • Gangrene
  • Tissue death

Intestine (Mesenteric Artery) Aneurysm

  • Severe stomach pain after meals and snacks
  • Loss of weight
  • Prolonged nausea
  • Blood in stool
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Spleen (Splenic Artery) Aneurysm

  • Abdominal pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • In few cases, patients have experienced gastrointestinal bleeding

It is the responsibility of your medical professional to recognize these symptoms and perform proper testing during routine physical exams or after a patient comes in with these complaints about their health.

Aneurysm Causes

Although the specific causes of aneurysms are not yet understood, studies have shown that the following are risk factors:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • The aging process
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Family history
  • Genetics

If you are at risk or have developed any symptoms associated with aneurysms, a CT scan or ultrasound test can be performed to identify the presence, size, and location of the aneurysm.

At Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, our Salt Lake City wrongful death attorneys can represent the victims and families that have suffered the devastating effects of aneurysms and medical malpractice. Contact our practice for a case evaluation.

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