– A Dangerous and Often Lethal Condition
-Caused by a tear or an aneurysm in the Aorta – an important artery in the heart – resulting in bleeding into the wall of the aorta.
-My present with symptoms of sudden and severe chest pain, shortness of breath, sudden difficulty speaking, and shortness of breath.
-May be caused by high blood pressure, hardening arteries, weakened or bulging arteries, or genetic disorders.
Patients with acute AD usually present clinically with an insignificant medical history, leading to a high probability of misdiagnosis. There are many ways to identify and confirm when an aortic dissection has occurred – they may be evident through aortic angiography, chest x-rays, MRIs, echocardiogram, CT scans, or ultrasonography. If not identified and treated quickly, aortic dissections are often fatal. Doctors have the tools to identify and address this condition and should be expected to properly diagnose when a dissection has occurred. Misdiagnosing or simply missing the dissection all together could be grounds for Medical Malpractice.
Even so, a study titled “Factors leading to failure to diagnose acute aortic dissection in the emergency room” found that a misdiagnosis of an aortic dissection occurred in 16% observed cases. Statistically that is 1 in 6 cases. There is a general belief that the actual misdiagnosis rate is higher.
- Factors leading to failure to diagnose acute aortic dissection in the emergency room.” | http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21889877
- Merck Mannual: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular-disorders/diseases-of-the-aorta-and-its-branches/aortic-dissection