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Aneurysm Prevention for Workers

22 June 2021

Over the years, stroke has been one of the common illnesses among workers. This is an effect of a ruptured brain vessel that was not properly diagnosed and has eventually ruptured. There are about 30,000 people in the US that suffer from brain rupture. In fact, one brain aneurysm occurs every 18 minutes in the United States. Among these, aneurysm rupture occurs in 8 to 10 out of 100,000 people. According to a 2004 study, the combined lost wages for the employee who had an aneurysm and their caretaker for one year are estimated at $150 million dollars.

But what is an aneurysm and how do we deal with it?

Understanding what it is and how we can diagnose it is a major key in preventing this possibly deadly illness. An aneurysm is a swelling in the blood vessel. This swelling happens when blood passes through a weakened blood vessel wall that branches.

Anatomically, it would look like a berry hanging off a tree as it bulges in an outward direction much like a balloon. An aneurysm can develop in any part of a human body but the most common is an aortic aneurysm and brain aneurysm that causes a stroke.

The symptoms of an aneurysm are barely noticeable unless properly diagnosed by CT scans or MRI. So one needs to be really observant of one's own body to distinguish when to get diagnosed professionally. That, or rely on a yearly medical exam to know. However, there is a level at which an aneurysm does show observable symptoms and that is usually when it becomes very big which then presses on the nerves in the brain. These are the telltale signs of a brain aneurysm when this occurs:

1. Sudden and very severe headache, which could be described as the “worst one in their life”

2. Weakness or numbness in some parts of the body most especially the arms and hands

3. Vomiting or nausea

4. Loss of consciousness/fainting spells

5. Confusion of surroundings

6. Blurred or seeing doubles

7. Sensitivity to light and brightness

8. Stiff neck/pain in the neck

9. Eyelids are drooping

10. Dilated pupil

11. Pain behind and/or above your eyes

It is important to be vigilant of our health because approximately three out of five people who have subarachnoid hemorrhage pass on within two weeks. Half of its survivors are left at times in a vegetative state or severe brain damage and disability. A brain aneurysm causes a hemorrhagic stroke. A stroke and ruptured brain aneurysm is a medical emergency, so if you see someone with the symptoms above along with slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, loss of balance, and numbness on one side of the body including the face, please call emergency services. Time is of the essence.

The treatment for brain aneurysms varies.

Usually, the main goal of aneurysm treatment is preventing ruptures. The doctor will determine the risk of that aneurysm and treatments to the patient. The size of the aneurysm is a determining factor in considering if a patient is a low risk or high risk of ruptures. If the aneurysm is less than 7 mm in diameter and can be found in the front of the brain, it is low risk. While those with a 12 mm aneurysm or if the blocked artery is found in the back of the brain have a high probability of having a rupture occur.

One of the treatments for a brain aneurysm is surgical clipping.

This would involve putting a metal clip across the base of the berry aneurysm. This would prevent blood from flowing from the artery to the sac, which then prevents a rupture. Once the doctor has made sure that blood isn’t flowing to the aneurysm, there’s a 95% chance that it would not grow again in a lifetime and also guaranteed 99% that it would not rupture.

However, since this is an invasive surgery it does come with risks like stroke (1%) and risk of brain disability (memory, cognitive, and personality changes). The percentage of risk of the latter depends on the patient’s age. For younger patients ages 45 or below, there is only a 5% risk involved. While ages between 45-65 have a 16% risk of brain disability and a 30% for those patients 65 years and above.

Another treatment is endovascular coiling.

This entails placing a tube into the artery of your leg to your groin, which will then be navigated by x-ray to your neck up to the place where the aneurysm is. Once there, the neurosurgeons will place another tube inside the first one and coil it inside the aneurysm. Since this does not entail opening up the patient’s skull, the risk of brain disability is lowered.

There are also other treatments like the aneurysm glue which acts like the coil mentioned above. Another one is the flow diverter which is a device that acts as a pipeline. This device makes it hard for blood to flow to the aneurysm and very easy to go through the normal artery.

The general indicator of a brain aneurysm is family history and history of diseases like high blood pressure, kidney disease, connective tissue diseases which increase your chance to have this illness. To prevent this, however, you can make certain lifestyle changes to lower your risk. These are avoiding smoking, drug abuse, and alcohol. Other risk factors are old age and high blood pressure. That is why it is important to take care of our health as we age. Every health tip that can prevent high blood pressure also lowers your risk for a brain aneurysm. Even avoiding stress and keeping yourself active are good ways to prevent this illness.

At Flexispot, you can do that even while working. The Sit2Go 2-in-1 Fitness Chair allows you to keep fit, active, and exercise in the comfort of your own home or the office. You can cycle in between breaks or while you are getting some work done. It’s very comfortable, so you can focus and be confident that your seat will provide ample support for your body. It is also height adjustable so it can easily conform to your body.