Aortic Dissection Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Northwest Indiana
The aorta is a blood vessel which carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart, delivering it to other organs and areas of the body. This is a major blood vessel which, if is compromised, can cause an immediate medical emergency that often leads to a fatality rate of 40 percent within the first 24 hours.
What Exactly is an Aortic Dissection?
An aortic dissection is a tear in the artery – aorta – which is typically found in the artery. This usually happens due to trauma or a tear which starts in the inner part of the aortic wall. In some cases, people may be born with a genetic predisposition to an aortic dissection; with that said, it is the responsibility of doctors to diagnose this condition the minute it happens in order to prevent complications or a fatality.
Aortic dissections usually take years to develop, making them asymptomatic. However, when the tear occurs, individuals have only a few hours to get to the doctor and have the tear checked out by a surgeon to prevent premature death.
Here are some of the symptoms of aortic dissection:
- Severe, sudden and constant pain in the back or abdomen area which radiates to the legs, buttocks and groin
- Cold, clammy skin
- Rapid heartbeat
When an aortic dissection occurs, the aorta swells up to the size of a small balloon, much like an aneurysm. Blood may pool in this area and build up pressure before compromising the wall, leading to an internal bleed that can only be stopped via timely surgery.
Some of the predisposing medical conditions for the development of aortic dissection include:
Connective tissue disorders
Narrowing of the aorta
Pregnancy in women over the age of 40
High blood pressure
Blunt chest trauma, such as in the case of a person’s upper body hitting the steering wheel during a Northwest Indiana car accident
Vascular inflammation brought on by diseases such as syphilis
Indiana Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Involving Aortic Dissection
Competent doctors should be able to quickly diagnose an aortic dissection and order CT scans, aortic angiography, chest X-rays, MRI and echocardiograms. These usually are very good at spotting the condition, after which you may be prepped for surgery to fix the burst blood vessel. Doctors owe you a certain standard of care which means that they should act in the same way a competent doctor in their shoes will act to avert complications from the dissection. Failure to do so therefore constitutes medical malpractice which is compensable under Indiana medical malpractice law.