Hayden leaves hospital to weigh treatment options

May 14, 1994|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Sun Staff Writer

Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden left Johns Hopkins Hospital yesterday and will spend the weekend with relatives while deciding on treatment for a condition that caused a blood vessel to rupture in his head Sunday.

County Communications Director Robert Hughes said Mr. Hayden "sounded good -- in great spirits," when they spoke briefly yesterday afternoon by telephone.

Hopkins neurosurgeons treating the county executive conferred with him Thursday and again yesterday about treatment, Mr. Hughes said. But Mr. Hayden decided to take the weekend to make a decision.

Mr. Hayden, who has lost his right-side vision since the attack, did some county paperwork while a patient at Hopkins this week, as he underwent medical tests.

The County Council also indicated that it may consult with Mr. Hayden when deciding what cuts to make in his $1.26 billion budget.

The executive's condition, which is congenital and was diagnosed about 20 years ago, is called a vascular malformation, a collection of delicate blood vessels in the back of his head. When pressure increases in those blood vessels, the result is severe headaches.

The county executive awoke with such a headache Sunday and was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Towson by a police bodyguard. After a computerized axial tomography scan there, he was transferred to Hopkins for more specialized treatment.

Though Mr. Hayden, 49, lost right-side vision from both eyes, several doctors said some of that vision may return over time.

On Wednesday, he described his vision as akin to looking at the world through binoculars, with nothing visible to his right.

Doctors have said the problem is a lack of capillaries connecting arteries and veins in a portion of Mr. Hayden's head. By middle age, these higher-pressure blood vessels sometimes rupture.

The usual treatments include micro-surgery or radiation to seal off the blood vessels.

Another option, administering a medical glue, often is used to strengthen one of the other treatments, said Dr. Gary Steinberg, a neurosurgeon at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, Calif., and a specialist in treating the condition.

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