What should you do?
According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, nearly six million people in the US have an unruptured brain aneurysm (1 in 50). About 30,000 will rupture.
If you have a severe headache - pain you've never felt before - go to the emergency department immediately. Time is critical. It's better to be cautious because ruptured aneurysms can be devastating and life-threatening.
Brain aneurysms can be treated in several ways, depending on the severity. They include endovascular coiling, clipping, embolization, stenting and cerebral bypass.
Untreated minor subarachnoid hemorrhages are called sentinel bleeds. This is known as a "warning leak." If a sentinel bleed is missed, it can lead to a severe aneurysmal sub arachnoid bleed.
Aneurysms are a disease that's under the radar. Families often are unaware of the condition or what to do in the case of symptoms. If time allows, find treatment in centers that have a high volume and clinical expertise, such as Northwell Health, which treats about 200 aneurysms each year.
David Chalif, MD, is codirector of Northwell Health's Brain Aneurysm Center and chief of vascular neurosurgery. He has more than 32 years of experience in treating complex cerebral aneurysms, vascular malformations and brain tumors at North Shore University Hospital.