Your brain needs a steady supply of oxygenated blood to survive. Fortunately, you have two carotid arteries that supply blood to your brain, head, face and neck. If you have a serious car accident, though, you may be at risk of developing a catastrophic arterial injury, such as an aneurysm.
An aneurysm occurs when the lining of an artery bulges. As the bulge expands, the arterial lining becomes increasingly thin. Eventually, an aneurysm may rupture, causing extensive blood loss. Without immediate medical treatment, a carotid artery aneurysm is almost always fatal.
What causes carotid artery aneurysms?
Aneurysms may develop for many different reasons, including high blood pressure and infection. However, trauma to the neck may also cause you to develop one in your carotid arteries. If your neck collides with your airbag or another part of your vehicle, you may be at risk of suffering a carotid artery aneurysm. In extreme cases, whiplash may also contribute to the condition.
Why are carotid artery aneurysms so dangerous?
If you have a carotid artery aneurysm, you may be vulnerable to internal bleeding. Because your carotid arteries carry high volumes of blood, blood loss is often swift after aneurysms burst. Additionally, you may suffer brain damage, as an aneurysm may prevent blood from flowing to your brain.
How do doctors treat carotid artery aneurysms?
Carotid artery aneurysms are medical emergencies. To diagnose the condition, doctors are likely to use MRI or CT scans. Then, they may recommend surgery to repair damage to your injured carotid artery. Physicians may also attempt to minimize your risk of stroke and other life-altering complications.
Even though treating a carotid artery aneurysm is likely to be expensive, you should not delay treatment. Ultimately, the driver who caused the accident that caused your aneurysm may be responsible for your medical bills and other damages.