Arteriovenous Malformation Case Study

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An Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) can be described simply as a tight rubber band ball of abnormal blood vessels with weak walls. These can be located anywhere in the body. Arteries carry blood containing oxygen from the heart to the brain. An AVM bypasses normal brain tissue and directs blood from the arteries to the veins without a capillary bed in between. Brain AVM’s occur in less than one percent of the population (per 100,000 people) and are more common in males than females. Being congenital, they normally go unknown until they possibly hemorrhage. Also, AVM’s are mainly asymptomatic which is another reason they go undetected. Every year four out of every one hundred AVM’s result in hemorrhage; “Each hemorrhage poses a 15 to 20 percent risk of death or stroke, 30 percent neurological morbidity, and 10 percent mortality” AANS. Possible symptoms of hemorrhage include generalized seizures, localized pain and fifteen percent of people will experience poor speech, vision and difficulty with movement much like symptoms post stroke. Symptoms are more dependent on the location of the AVM in the brain. AVM’s are not specific to one part of the brain. The final diagnosis is detected with either a computerized tomography (CT) scan of the brain or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The cause of an AVM is unknown, they are not hereditary. Very rarely do AVM’s grow or change …show more content…
I have to admit that I am glad I did not watch this prior to my brother having his brain surgery because I would have known exactly what to picture and all the little things that could have gone wrong. Even still, throughout the entire video I pictured the brain being operated on as my brothers and it really made me thankful for his outcome. This project has taught me so much but most importantly has made me realize on a different level the importance of a physical therapist not just physically but for the patient

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