Your arteries are the pathways that carry vital oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. The aorta is your biggest artery; all of the blood pumped by your heart goes through your aorta before making its way elsewhere. When problems develop with your aorta, the consequences can be immediate and fatal.
One such problem is called an aortic dissection, in which a tear in the aorta leads to blood surging through the separated (dissected) arterial wall into the body, often resulting in severe hemorrhaging or death.
All too often, patients with chest pains or other possible symptoms of an aortic dissection will be misdiagnosed because the symptoms can mimic those of other conditions. But, if a doctor fails to follow the proper standard of care in diagnosing and treating an aortic dissection, and a patient suffers severe health problems or dies as a result, it could be the basis of a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The experienced aortic dissection malpractice 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 dissection.
For a free consultation and case evaluation with our legal team, call (888) 695-2963 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the U.S.
Aortic Dissections Explained
Given the workload the aorta has in constantly ensuring that blood flows throughout the body, it is under as much stress and strain as your heart. An aortic dissection is a tear in the inner lining of the aorta which can allow blood to flow through the walls of the aorta rather than remaining in the artery. 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.
Sudden and severe chest or upper back pain that radiates to the neck or down the back is a common symptom of an aortic dissection, and the lack of blood flowing from the aorta to the rest of the body as a result of the tear can lead to other symptoms, including:
- Fainting or dizziness
- Heavy sweating (clammy skin)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pale skin (pallor)
- Rapid, weak pulse
- Shortness of breath/trouble breathing when lying flat (orthopnea)
- Pain in the abdomen
- Stroke symptoms
- Swallowing difficulties from pressure on the esophagus
Misdiagnosis & Delayed Treatment of Aortic Dissection
If detected early and treated appropriately, most aortic dissections can be repaired with minimal or no long-term damage. But, because many of the symptoms of an aortic dissection listed above are similar to those of a heart attack or other cardiac problems, it can lead to an incorrect or delayed diagnosis. This can be a tragic and fatal mistake.
Untreated, an aortic dissection can lead to:
- Death due to severe internal bleeding
- Organ damage, such as kidney failure or severe intestinal damage
- Aortic valve damage (aortic regurgitation) or rupture into the lining around the heart (cardiac tamponade)
Many aortic dissections are discovered during routine check-ups, doctor visits, or testing for other conditions. This should lead to further tests such as an MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis.
Call LawMD Today
If you have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of malpractice, consult with a Washington, D.C. misdiagnosis lawyer to provide you with experienced and aggressive legal representation. Many of our attorneys are also licensed physicians. This rich combination of knowledge and experience allows them to promptly determine what happened and whether medical mistakes were made. 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.