Aneurysm, Brain Health (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Brain Aneurysm Diagnosis

Comment on this

When a patient who has a headache presents for medical care, the concern in the back of the physician's mind is whether an aneurysm exists and has ruptured. Because up to half of aneurysms have a sentinel leak prior to completely rupturing, the first headache presentation is an opportunity to intervene and potentially prevent that rupture.

If the patient is awake, alert, and oriented, there is time to ask questions and learn about when the headache started, where it is located, and if there are any other associated symptoms like nausea, vomiting, change in vision or hearing, weakness, numbness, and neck pain.

If the patient is lethargic or not completely awake, initial steps will include evaluation of the ABCs of resuscitation -- airway, breathing, and circulation -- to make certain that the patient is stable before proceeding any further.

The Glascow Coma Scale

The Glasgow Coma Scale is a quick test that is done to assess the basic wakefulness of a patient. It can also help document the level of coma if the patient is not completely awake. As a standardized score, it is also helpful to track changes in mental status as the patient is evaluated by different health-care professionals, from EMTs/paramedics to emergency physicians to neurologists/neurosurgeons. This scoring system focuses on eye opening, speech, and movement.

Glasgow Coma Scale
Eye Opening
Spontaneous - 4
To loud voice - 3
To pain - 2
None - 1
Verbal Response
Oriented - 5
Confused, Disoriented - 4
Inappropriate words - 3
Incomprehensible words - 2
None - 1
Motor Response
Obeys commands - 6
Localizes pain - 5
Withdraws from pain - 4
Abnormal flexion posturing - 3
Extensor posturing - 2
None - 1
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/27/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Brain Aneurysm - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with brain aneurysm.
Brain Aneurysm - Treatments Question: How was your brain aneurysm treated?
Aneurysm - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your brain aneurysm?
Brain Aneurysm - Diagnosis Question: How was your brain aneurysm diagnosed?