What is an Aortic Dissection? Can Delays in Treatment be Oregon Medical Malpractice?

Understanding What an Aortic Dissection is and How Delays in Treatment Can be Oregon Medical Malpractice


An aortic dissection is a medical emergency that must be treated by a healthcare provider.  Also known as an aortic aneurysm, according to the CDC there are approximately 10,000 deaths each year caused directly by an aortic dissection and more than another 17,000 deaths are contributed to, in part, by an aortic aneurysm.  Delays in treating an aortic aneurysm can result in continued damage to the entire body, particularly the heart and surround aortic vessels.  This means that the longer a healthcare provider does not diagnose an aortic dissection, the longer that the condition will continue to cause serious injury to a patient and may result in the wrongful death of the patient.  This could be due to Oregon medical malpractice and patients should contact a Portland medical malpractice lawyer to learn their rights.


What is an Aortic Dissection?


An aortic dissection is a tear in the lining of an aorta.  There are three main layers of your aorta.  When there is a tear in the inner-most layer, blood that is pumped from your heart and into that aorta will be forced into the torn lining.  The blood will create inefficiencies in the heart, causing a decrease in oxygen to the rest of the body, and force the heart to pump harder and faster.  This will result in the dissection become larger.  Blood may be forced into the second and middle layer, this will press on the outer wall of the aorta.  If this outer wall of the aorta is ruptured, blood that is pumped from the heart will pour into the chest cavity and not into the aorta and vessels, which will result in a very quick death.  Thus, it is imperative to treat an aortic dissection as soon as one believes the symptoms are present.


Symptoms of an Aortic Dissection That Healthcare Providers Should Not Miss


There are many symptoms of an aortic dissection.  However, these symptoms typically mirror that of a stroke or heart attack.  Thus, these conditions will be tested for first to be ruled out, but will not necessarily demonstrate that there is an aortic dissection.  This means that some healthcare providers will send a patient home without treatment thinking it is something innocuous like heartburn. This is a death sentence.  And this is likely Oregon medical malpractice.


The classic symptom of an aortic dissection is the loss of feeling or paralysis to only one side of the body, accompanied with the loss of pulse on that side.  This strongly mimics a stroke, but when the stroke tests come back negative, healthcare providers must immediately check for an aortic dissection.  The lack of a pulse on that same sign is also an indication that the diagnosis is heart related and not neurological (i.e., stroke).


Other symptoms of an aortic dissection include the following:


  • Chest pain and back pain, often very severe;
  • Feeling a pop, tear, rip, or other sensation in the chest;
  • Pain and and down the spine;
  • Blurry vision;
  • Coordination issues;
  • Sweating for no reason;
  • Rapid heartbeat for no reason;
  • Speech impairments;
  • Shortness of breath for no reason;
  • Pain in legs; and
  • Other symptoms.


Did You Have an Aortic Dissection and Healthcare Providers Did Not Diagnose it Immediately?  Was Your Loved One Wrongfully Killed?  We might be able to help!


An aortic dissection will also become deadly on a long enough timeline  How long that timeline is not easy to determine.  Thus, every aortic dissection should be immediately treated and handled.  Healthcare providers who fail to immediately diagnose an aortic dissection are running the risk of serious personal injury or wrongful death.  If you or a loved one suffered an aortic dissection that was not immediately diagnosed, please call our Portland medical malpractice lawyer to learn what your rights to compensation may be.


We accept cases throughout Oregon, including Central Oregon, Deschutes County, Salem, Portland, Eugene, Gresham, Hillsboro, Medford, and any other city, including Bend, Oregon where our law office is located.  Please call Kuhlman Law, LLC by dialing (541) 385-1999 to learn what your rights to compensation you may have.  You may also contact us using our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation to get you the answers you deserve, all for free.  There is no risk, and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.

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