Chicago White Sox RP Danny Farquhar collapsed in the dugout during the sixth inning of last nights game. With an altered level of consciousness, he was taken to Rush University medical center.
A battery of tests were performed, and Farquhar was diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage. The most common cause of subarachnoid hemorrhage, in the absence of trauma, is a ruptured aneurysm.
An aneurysm is a weak spot in the wall of a blood vessel at the base of the brain, usually in an area known as the Circle of Willis. This weakness results in a ballooning of the blood vessel, and ultimately the aneurysm can rupture.
Ruptured aneurysms can be, and often are, life threatening. Emergency management of the condition usually includes control of high pressures in the brain, and to secure the aneurysm so further bleeding can’t occur.
Securing the aneurysm is most commonly performed endovascularly, where a catheter is put through an artery in the leg, fed up towards the brain vessels, and the aneurysm is packed with coils, which cause it to clot off.
An alternative option is open craniotomy, where surgery is performed to place a clip at the base of the aneurysm, preventing blood from entering it, and thus securing it against further bleeding.
This will undoubtedly end Farquhar‘s season, and could threaten his career. However, if it’s a mild case, and treated quickly, a return to play is not out of the question.