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Delayed Brain CT Scans
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Delayed Brain CT Scans

I have a son who had complained of severe headache with blurry vision. He went to an EMR on a Sunday (day 1) and was refered to a Neurologist the next Friday. He went back on the Tuesday (day 3) complaining that his pains were getting worse and that his vision was so blurry that he could not read very well for a school test the Monday. He was reminded to continue to take tylenol and wait to see the Neuro on the Friday. The Thursday (day 5) he was rushed to emergency where a CT scan showed that the brain stem was soaked with blood. He was airlifted to another hospital where he had 3 cranium openings to have brain surgeries. He was in a coma for 6 weeks, could not speak for 6 months and has been bed-ridden for the past 10 months, partially paralyzed on one side and undergoing rehab.

During the 2  visits (days 1 and 3) to the HMO's emergency, and the final visit to the EMR on day 5 followed by admission to the Surgery/ICU, I was out of the US on a govt related job assignment. I have on occassions felt that his conditions/injury could have been less severe if I were in the US to push for CT scan during the days 1 and 3 visits.

My question is, "Could an earlier CT scan have detected the injury for pro-active action to reduce the severity of brain injury? Thanks.  
Tags: Timeliness, Brain stroke, blurry vision, ischemia, one side paralyzed, coma
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Hi there and thanks so much for posting this interesting question and I am truly sorry for all the ordeal you and your son are going through. Please feel free to post in any other forum such as Neurology.

My guess is that to certain extent yes but lets not forget that brain science is making extraordinary advances but it is still such a new science. I am mentioning this because sometimes there are conditions that scans can not identify but I agree with you and I have heard this many times before that whenever something happens and there is not a clear convincing theory behind you need to get a scan as soon as possible to make sure. You don't mention if your kid fell, or hit is head to cause that internal bleeding and following the headache and blurry vision. Sometimes even the simplest fall, followed by similar symptoms is a guarantee that internal bleeding is happening.

How you explain it here is that there was nothing that made you suspicious about a fall or bump in the head causing those symptoms so you just got information from your kid that he was experiencing blurry vision and headaches and doctors treated it in a very quick way since there was not a fall. If mentioning a fall or similar I am pretty sure doctors would have rushed your kid to do multiple scans to show any signs of internal bleeding.

If your kid went through that experiencing those symptoms so quick, so fast it was clear that something was happening but sometimes goes undetected, sometimes some doctors they just underestimate that something else is going on since they probably have seen similar conditions 99% of the times but it is not an excuse to play it safe.

Now is important to give the absolute best with therapy and I have been working with patients with one side paralyzed and they recover motor control and functioning sometimes fully recovery so lets give all our strength for fast recovery.

I really hope everything is going well...
thanks again!
2 Comments
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I am sorry to hear about your son but I will believe with you that he will have a full and complete recovery!
Did the doctors mention if your son had an AVM which may have caused this bleeding? I ask this because my 3 yr old just had brain surgery because of an AVM, which ruptured and caused his brain to bleed. I truly believe that only by God's grace we were able to find out within hours that this happened. My son was completely fine on the morning of Nov 10th and by 4:00pm the daycare noticed him acting strange. He told them he fell down....which never happened...I believe this was his way of telling us he was hurting. When my husband picked him up at 5:40 he was asleep in the teachers arms. My husband just knew something was wrong...when he got home my son was slurring his words and giving answers that didn't go with the question...like what's your name...he would say he's 3 yrs old. We called 911 after he vomitted and his eyes rolled in his head. He acted as if he was overdosed on medication....We get to the hospital and when we confirmed no meds in his system they did a CT SCAN....10 MINS later they tell us he has bleeding on his brain...rushed him by life flight to a hospital that specializes with pediatric neurosurgery....finally within 20 hours we find out he had an ARTERIOVENOUS MALFORMATION (AVM)...which ruptured on his right frontal lobe and pooled blood on the right. We were told that Brayden was blind and that he would be severly disabled, however we refused to believe what the doctors were telling us. We put Brayden in God's hands and he is a miracle walking and talking today. They told us that the 1st 72 hours are critical when something like this happens.....but I do believe all things happen for a reason....I will keep your son in my prayers and I believe he will recover all in God's timing.
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