Your aorta is the largest artery you have. It is the primary mechanism for delivering blood where it needs to go throughout your body. When problems develop with your aorta, the consequences can be immediate and deadly. When the constant force and pressure of blood through the aorta cause the arterial walls to weaken and split, it can cause an aortic aneurysm which, in turn, could lead to severe hemorrhaging and death.
All too often, patients with chest pains or other possible symptoms of an aortic aneurysm will see a physician who fails to properly identify the risk or presence of the aneurysm and, therefore, doesn’t take the immediate action necessary to prevent severe injury or death. When a doctor fails to follow the proper standard of care in diagnosing and treating an aortic aneurysm, it could constitute medical malpractice.
The experienced misdiagnosis lawyers at LawMD—many of whom are also licensed physicians—help individuals who have suffered and families who have lost a loved one obtain compensation for their doctor’s mistakes involving an aortic aneurysm.
For a free consultation with our medical malpractice team, call (888) 695-2963 or contact us online.
What Is an Aortic Aneurysm?
Every minute of every day, your heart is constantly pumping blood that needs to make its way to every corner of your body. The aorta is the pathway through which all of that blood flows, which means it is under as much stress and strain as your heart. An aortic aneurysm is a bulge in a section of the aorta that has been weakened and overstretched. This can be the result of extreme “wear and tear” of the aorta and/or congenital conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and atherosclerosis, which weaken arterial walls.
That aneurysm can split the arterial wall and cause blood to leak out (an aortic dissection). But if that aneurysm bursts, it can cause severe internal bleeding which can be fatal in very little time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), aortic aneurysms are the 14th leading cause of death in the United States, and they were the primary cause of 9,863 deaths in 2014 and a contributing cause in more than 17,215 deaths in the U.S. in 2009.
There are two main types of aortic aneurysms:
- Thoracic aortic aneurysms: This type of aneurysm occurs in the chest and are usually caused by high blood pressure, inherited connective tissue disorders, or a sudden injury or trauma. While aneurysms sometimes do not present with any symptoms, signs of a thoracic aortic aneurysm can include sharp, sudden pain in the chest or upper back, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing or swallowing.
- Abdominal aortic aneurysms: More common than thoracic aneurysms, abdominal aortic aneurysms develop below the chest in the abdomen. As with thoracic aneurysms, some abdominal aneurysms develop without any symptoms, but symptoms can include deep pain or throbbing in the back or side, as well as pain in the buttocks, legs, or groin.
How Are Aortic Aneurysms Detected?
As noted, some individuals with an aortic aneurysm don’t show any symptoms or signs of distress whatsoever. But that doesn’t mean that a physician can’t discover and identify the aneurysm with proper testing and diagnosis. In fact, many aortic aneurysms are discovered during routine check-ups, doctor visits, or testing for other conditions.
These should alert the doctor to the possible presence of an aneurysm and lead to further tests such as an MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis. While smaller aneurysms can often be treated with medication, larger ones can require surgery.
However, aortic aneurysms are often misdiagnosed or undiagnosed altogether. One study found that approximately 42% of all abdominal aortic aneurysms are misdiagnosed, increasing the likelihood of a fatal rupture in patients who are left untreated. If a physician fails to follow the proper standard of care when diagnosing or treating an aortic aneurysm, it can lead to permanent injury, disability, or death.
This kind of catastrophic medical mistake can be the basis of a medical malpractice lawsuit in which victims or their families seek compensation for their losses. An experienced aortic aneurysm malpractice lawyer—especially one with a medical background—can determine whether a physician committed malpractice and, if so, can help victims get the resources and compensation they need and deserve.
Contact LawMD Today
If you have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of suspected aortic aneurysm malpractice, LawMD’s misdiagnosis lawyers stand ready to provide experienced and aggressive legal representation. Many of our attorneys are also licensed physicians. This rich combination of knowledge and experience allows him to promptly determine what happened and whether medical mistakes were made. When this is the case, we aggressively pursue compensation that can help pay for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, loss of relationship, and funeral expenses.
Please give us a call at (888) 695-2963 to set up your free consultation or contact us online. We look forward to assisting you.