An abdominal aortic dissection can sneak up on you and take your life in an instant, which you learned when you went to the emergency room of Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center with stabbing back pain. The doctors there were able to detect the problem and treat it before you suffered internal bleeding that could have resulted in death if misdiagnosed.
Knowing About Abdominal Aortic Dissection Can Save You
Unfortunately, not all patients are as lucky as you were. All too often, doctors fail to recognize the symptoms of an aortic dissection and don’t perform the proper diagnostic tests. As a result, the patient could suffer a stroke, cardiac arrest, or sudden death. Knowing more about this dangerous condition could save your life.
- Your abdominal aorta. The aorta is the body’s main supplier of blood. This garden hose-sized vessel first runs up your body towards your head—the ascending aorta—then curves downward towards your stomach, which is called the descending or abdominal aorta. When a tear in the aorta occurs, it creates two channels: one in which the blood continues to travel, and another where blood stands still, causing the aorta to enlarge.
- Causes of dissection. The exact cause of dissection is unknown; however, some factors may contribute to its presence. Hardening of the arteries, or artherosclerosis, occurs when fat and other substances build up in the lining of your arteries and increases your chances of dissection. Tobacco use is also believed to increase the likelihood of dissection, as it contributes to the buildup of fatty plaque in your arteries.
- Symptoms. Those who have abdominal aortic dissection often experience sharp, tearing, ripping, or stabbing pain. The discomfort often begins below the chest bone, then moves to the shoulder blades and back. It can also travel to the jaw, hip, abdomen, neck, shoulder, and arm. You may also experience dizziness, anxiety, nausea, or shortness of breath.
Medical Malpractice Can Be Deadly
If you had an abdominal aortic dissection and suffered further damage due to a misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the attorneys of Tavss Fletcher and learn how you may be able to hold the negligent doctor accountable for his actions.