Failure to Diagnose Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

The Guttlaw ReportsTM

It has often been said that the aorta is like the Mississippi River of the human body. It is the largest and main artery in the body and goes up from the heart, turns downward through the chest, and runs into the abdomen. All of the other main arteries in the body branch off from the aorta. An aortic aneurysm occurs when part of the aorta enlarges and therefore weakens. The aorta is usually the size of a garden hose, but an aneurysm can make it grow to the size of a can of soda. An aortic aneurysm can be a life-threatening condition which, if allowed to get to the bursting point, can often lead to almost immediate death. Yet in spite of the critical importance of diagnosing and timely treating an abdominal aortic aneurysm, the Wall Street Journal has noted that, "Thousands of Americans are at risk of dying needlessly each year because general surgeons are being allowed to perform an especially precarious type of surgery [involving] . . . replacing a weakened and enlarged section of aorta . . . with synthetic tubing."

The Wall Street Journal continued, "A growing body of medical literature suggests that only highly trained vascular surgeons should, in the majority of cases, be allowed to perform this surgery." . . . [because] . . . "The overall mortality rate for abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery averages about five percent, but when general surgeons perform the surgery, the mortality rate is seventy-six percent higher." But in spite of this, abdominal aortic surgery is often treated by general surgeons who have limited experience and therefore place the patient at much higher risk.

In any case where a tragedy has resulted from a burst abdominal aortic aneurysm or from surgery to treat the problem, the following questions should always be asked:

  • Was the condition diagnosed in a timely fashion?
  • Did the treating physicians do what they should have done to discover the existence of the aneurysm and then bring the patient in for appropriate treatment quickly enough?
  • Was the surgery done by a vascular surgeon experienced in treating aneurysms?
  • Was the surgery and all of the treatment surrounding it done properly?

If you or a loved one has had serious complications relating to an abdominal aortic aneurysm, it is vital that the matter be investigated by competent, experienced counsel.

Proving your case is the job of an experienced law firm like Rubin Guttman & Associates, L.P.A. We have been representing injured people hurt by medical malpractice or serious accidents for 32 years and would welcome the opportunity to have you consult with us. (For a free consultation and review of your case, please feel free to call us at 216 696-4006).

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