What Is An Aortic Dissection?
Did you know the aorta is the largest artery in the body? It connects to the heart and transports blood to the entire body by delivering blood to other vessels. The aorta can tear because of a birth defect or an acquired problem. This is known as an aortic dissection. According to a recent article published by the University of Chicago, aortic dissection is to blame for more than 13,000 deaths every year in the United States.
Aortic dissections can be caused by any of the following:
- High blood pressure
- Aortic valve defect
- Certain genetic conditions like Marfan syndrome
- Birth defects
- Connective tissue diseases
- Trauma (such as from a car crash or a fall)
- Previous heart surgery
What Are The Signs and Symptoms Of An Aortic Dissection?
Symptoms of an aortic dissection can be similar to a heart attack and can include:
- Sudden severe chest or upper back pain
- Sudden severe abdominal pain
- Loss of consciousness
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden difficulty speaking, loss of vision, weakness or paralysis of one side of your body
- Weak pulse in one arm
- Leg pain
- Difficulty walking
- Leg paralysis
Aortic dissections can be diagnosed through several different diagnostic tests like an X-ray, CT Scan, Transesophageal Echocardiogram, MRI Scan, and MRA.
How Does Medical Malpractice Factor In?
Aortic dissections are an emergency condition. Because of that, an emergency room doctor, physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners, or nurse may fail to recognize the signs and symptoms of an aortic dissection. As a result, they failing to order the tests needed for an accurate diagnosis. Even when the provider does order the appropriate tests, radiologists can fail to timely diagnose the aortic dissections. Failure to do properly and timely diagnose the condition can lead to permanent catastrophic injuries or death. This may be the basis for a medical malpractice case.
If you or a loved one suffered an aortic dissection that was not timely diagnosed and treated and caused catastrophic injury or death, you need to contact the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Snyder & Wenner, P.C.