Blood vessel anomalies, also known as vascular abnormalities or malformations, are unusual growths that affect the cardiovascular and even the lymphatic system. Many of these growths appear at birth, but there are other cases where they show up much later in life.
A vascular anomaly’s effect on you can range from uncomfortable, painful, to outright fatal. If a nursing home staff finds that a senior resident has blood vessel anomalies, they should have them treated promptly to matters from worsening. Ignoring the resident’s health makes the caretaker liable in a nursing home lawsuit.
Types of Anomalies
Various vascular abnormalities can pose more risks to your health than others. They can affect just one or a combination of your veins, arteries, capillaries, and lymph vessels. Some known blood vessel anomalies include:
Aneurysms happen when an artery swells up and produces a considerable bulge. They affect different organs, including the heart and brain. This condition becomes dangerous when the artery bursts, as it will cause internal bleeding. If it happens in the heart or the brain, there is a good chance that the loss of blood causes a stroke. Worse, it could kill the person. Aneurysms can develop in multiple parts of your body, according to Mayo Clinic.
This condition exclusively targets either the brain or the spinal cord. It forms small bundles of blood vessels that are so delicate that they can easily rupture and leak tiny amounts of blood into the brain. If left alone, the small leak can spread and result in permanent brain damage.
Also known as an AVM, this anomaly creates a jumbled knot of blood vessels that connect the veins and arteries. It causes circulation problems, as arteries transport oxygen-rich blood while veins carry the opposite. The surrounding blood vessels will not get sufficient oxygen, weakening it further and potentially creating ruptures.
Causes and Risk Factors
Scientists have yet to determine what exactly causes blood vessel anomalies to form, as they can occur even in seemingly healthy individuals. Some abnormalities are congenital, while others may happen by pure chance. You may also inherit certain types through genetics; if you have a family history of aneurysms, you are more likely to have one, too.
Other factors may increase your chances of getting vascular anomalies as well. Hypertensive people are at more risk of developing them, as high blood pressure strains the vessels and makes them more likely to rupture. Drinkers and smokers are in danger because of having this problem as well. Alcohol and nicotine can raise your blood pressure and make your arteries narrower.
If someone had vascular anomalies in the past, it is probable that they will have one again. The nursing home must know if their elder resident has had one before so that the caretaker can monitor their condition more carefully.
Signs of a Problem
The problem with vascular abnormalities is that they usually remain undetected until they rupture and cause a hemorrhage. Internal bleeding can affect blood circulation to the point that your organs do not receive oxygen anymore, slowly killing the cells. The blood can also flood into other areas of your body, making it swell. You might see discolorations on the skin where the rupture occurred.
Brain aneurysms are often more noticeable than other anomalies because the blood leaking into the brain will make your head hurt. You also lose oxygen to your brain, which affects other body functions. If this happens to your senior loved one, they might feel lightheaded, extremely weak, and have difficulty talking or even thinking. In more severe cases, the aneurysm could give them seizures, a stroke, or put them in a coma.
Caretakers have to watch closely for any of these symptoms, especially if the resident is unaware of their circumstance.
Preventing and Treating Blood Vessel Anomalies
It is hard to prevent an anomaly from rupturing if you do not know that you have one. However, you can still reduce the risk by regulating your blood pressure to lessen the strain on the vessels. That means keeping away from alcohol and cigarettes.
If the blood vessels have already burst, the next best option is to stop the bleeding as soon as possible to keep it from damaging your organs any further. Doctors may use lasers or medications to close the rupture or create clots to stem the blood flow.
Negligence Can Make Matters Worse
Nursing homes should keep an eye on their residents’ health conditions, including any blood vessel anomalies they might have. Not doing so is an act of negligence that could put your elderly loved one’s life in danger. Fortunately, there is a way to attain justice and closure for you and your loved ones. With the help of our attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, filing a civil claim against the caretaker or nursing home becomes a less stressful process. You may be able to get compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, emotional pain, and more damages.