Today is Wisdom Wednesday at Aortic Hope.
When Your Symptoms Are Ignored or Misdiagnosed
👉 Many of the aortic dissection survivors in our community were lucky enough to go to a hospital where emergency physicians recognized their symptoms or connected the dots when hearing about their family medical history and ordered a life-saving CT scan.
👉 Unfortunately, there are many community members who had a very different experience. Some spent hours waiting in the emergency room, others were actually sent home. The worst stories come from patients that know their family history, can clearly articulate that information and are still sent home without a CT scan.
❤ We have asked community members to share some of their symptoms and ER experiences with the medical community in hopes of teaching emergency physicians to THINK AORTA and order a CT scan.
Michael R. ~ “I felt like I was on fire from the inside out and had non-stop nausea and vomiting. The hospital staff ordered a EKG (no heart attack) then they sent me back to the ER waiting room.”
Prashant J. ~ “I heard the pop and drove myself to the hospital. My left leg was numb by the time I got there but I didn’t have too much pain in the chest. I was slightly dizzy. Told hospital my dad passed at 30 and his grand dad passed at 56 and either I was having a stroke or heart attack. They did an ECG (EKG) said I was fine and that I sprained my leg and chest and sent me home.”
Nate S. ~ “Intense, shooting pain down my back, I was also having discomfort in my left leg and difficulty walking. They ended up sending me home with Pleurisy. It was a very small hospital so I’m sure they didn’t have a CT or even an MRI. Finally a simple chest X-ray showed an enlarged aorta, which then led to a CT.”
Anthony H. ~ “Leg pain as they turn blue, crapped all over myself, sweating, incoherent, combative, hyperventilation, shock,,,,*put in room for observation,,,wife was told they thought I ate a bad ham sandwich,,,(went back the next day ) dissection was found by echo.”
Roo Roo F. ~ “Hubby had sharp pain very high between shoulders and under throat. Then freezing hands/feet. Sort of mental 'spaciness' then urinary incontinence. Syncope episode w/vomiting; x 2. Finally projectile vomiting in ER and my insistence that his odd symptoms seemed to be organ failure led to a heart enzyme test; 1 was slightly elevated, which led to a lung embolism test, 200x elevated, which finally led to CT w/contrast, lifeflight, 16+ hr surgery, etc. *Before then EMT's had come and gone and ER had attempted to discharge him 4x and I refused.”
Karin B ~ “No pain. Passed out. ED thought I had overdosed or was stroking. AD eventually found when nurse suggestion my aorta should be looked at via CT.”
Annette R. ~ “My family Dr. sent me home with a diagnosis of a strained shoulder and “stomach bug”. I called 911 an hour later when my entire torso felt like it was electrified.” (dissection survivor)
Rhonda W. ~ “My Husband sat dying in the hospital 3 days trying to figure out what was going on before they went in to fix his aortic valve and discovered the problem. His other 5 family members did not survive it. (aortic dissection).” *13 years later it was discovered that ACTA2 runs in the family.
❤ If you have experienced something similar, please consider sharing your experience with us in hopes of teaching more medical professionals to THINK AORTA and help increase diagnosis time.