Why are Aortic Dissections Misdiagnosed? Oregon Medical Malpractice Attorney Explains

Misdiagnosed Aortic Dissections: Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer Explains Why They Occur


When an aortic dissection is missed and not diagnosed by a healthcare provider, it could be due to reckless, careless, and negligent conduct which is Oregon medical malpractice.  An aortic dissection is a medical emergency which must be immediately identified and treated.  An aortic dissection is when the lining in an aorta has a tear in one of its layers but not a complete rupture.  This means that blood will fill into the inner layers and “dissect.”  This causes a deprivation of oxygen to certain parts of the body, forces the heart to beat harder and faster, and may cause the outer layer of the aorta to rupture and result in the wrongful death of a patient.


The symptoms of an aortic dissection include the following:


  • Loss of feeling or paralysis to one side of the body;
  • Severe chest pain;
  • A tearing or ripping sensation in the chest;
  • Severe back and scapula pain;
  • Pain up and down the spine;
  • Blurry vision;
  • Weak pulse in one arm or leg on the same side of the body;
  • Coordination issues;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Rapid heartbeat;
  • Sweating;
  • Speech impairments;
  • Pain in the legs;
  • Trouble walking; and
  • Other possible symptoms.


Why are Aortic Dissections Misdiagnosed?


Aortic dissections are misdiagnosed for a few reasons, many which are due to reckless, careless, or negligence conduct which may constitute Oregon medical malpractice.  The most common reasons why an aortic dissection is misdiagnosed includes the following:


Similarity to Other Conditions that Test Negative – The symptoms for an aortic dissection mirror those of a heart attack or stroke.  This is due to the extreme chest and back pain, as well as the paralysis on one side of the body.  When a healthcare providers performs an EKG which does not demonstrate a heart attack, and when a healthcare provider performs tests which do not indicate a stroke, some healthcare providers will stop the inquiry there and either put a patient in observation or send a patient home with acid reflux or possible cold/flu.  Failing to continue the tests for an aortic dissection mean that the provider may be liable for Oregon medical malpractice.


Rare Condition that Does Not Occur OftenAccording to the CDC, there are approximately only 10,000 deaths in the United States due to aortic dissections.  Some of these deaths, unfortunately, are instant.  Other deaths are individuals that ignore their symptoms and do not go to the hospital before it is too late.  This means relatively very few aortic dissection cases make it to hospital emergency rooms.  Because of the rarity, many healthcare providers and staff are unfamiliar with these types of conditions and will treat only for the larger symptoms like heart attacks, strokes, or pulmonary embolisms.  When all of these tests are negative, most times providers just do not know to continue to look back at the heart for some type of condition like an aortic dissection.  This unfamiliarity may be due to a lack of training, and can be Oregon medical malpractice.


Misreading Signs of an Aortic Dissection – An aortic dissection is characterized by one side paralysis and a weak pulse on one side of the body.  However, some medical professionals may misinterpret or misread these diagnostics.  For instance, a provider may fail to take the pulse on both sides and may only on the strong side.  Or a provider may misinterpret the sides as equal, when one is clearly not.  Providers may also misread diagnostic tests or imaging studies that are ordered, which is also Oregon medical malpractice.


Victims of a Misdiagnosed Aortic Dissection May Have an Oregon Medical Malpractice Claim


Individuals who have suffered an aortic dissection misdiagnosis may have sustained serious and unnecessary personal injury due to the delayed diagnosis or failed diagnosis.  Some patients may have suffered the ultimate price and been wrongfully killed due to Oregon medical malpractice.  If you or a loved one suffered an aortic dissection that was not immediately diagnosed, please call our Central Oregon medical malpractice lawyer to learn what your rights to compensation may be.


We handle cases throughout Oregon and Central Oregon, including Deschutes County, Redmond, Sisters, La Pine, Madras, Prineville, The Dalles, Hood River, Clackamas, Corvallis, Albany, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tigard, Salem, Portland, Hillsboro, Vancouver, Washington, Beaverton, Oregon City, Eugene, Coos Bay, Astoria, Newport, Pendleton, Tillamook,  Milwaukie, Gresham, Hillsboro, Medford, and any other city, including Bend, Oregon where our main 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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