The topic in Wednesday's Neighborhood Health Watch is hemorrhagic stroke and a new less invasive way to manage it.
A hemorrhagic stroke is either a brain aneurysm burst or a weakened blood vessel leak. Blood spills into or around the brain and creates swelling, pressure, and damage in the brain. One in 50 people may have an aneurysm in their brain, but unless it ruptures, you don't actually know you have it. A thunder clap headache is one of the few warning signs.
Dr. Efstathios Spinos with Henrico Doctors’ Hospital says, "it's a severe headache that you've never had before. So, it's not something that you would experience normally. People have headaches all the time but this is a thunder clap headache. Sometimes, it's associated with nausea. Sometimes, some neck pain. Sometimes, there are neurological symptoms. The traditional way of fixing these aneurysms. Traditional meaning more than 20 years ago was to shave your hair, cut a big hole in your scalp and in your skull, and then go down, move the brain aside and find that aneurysm and put a little close pen right at the weakened area so that you can stop the bleeding. Now, we can do a minimally invasive way of getting there. In 1995, the FDA approved a procedure called coiling, like a catheterization go into the groin. You put in smaller catheters. The smallest being a microcatheter, which allows you to under general anesthesia to carefully get into the aneurysmm and put tiny coils that are platinum and that are extremely soft that you don't damage the aneurysm. You slowly fill it up with these coils so that the blood can't get in and if it can't get into the aneurysm it can't leak out."
The prognosis is good if you survive the trip to the ER. As many as one out of every four people don't make it to the hospital.