In the lower part of the aorta, which runs from the heart through to the abdomen, an abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause bleeding that could lead to death. Treatment is determined by the size and rate the aneurysm is growing, but it’s something that may be ignored by a doctor.
Proper Size of the Aorta
During standard monitoring of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, doctors should be aware of determining a course of treatment based on the aneurysm’s size. The average size is 1.7 centimeters for men and 1.5 cm for women.
If it grows between three and four centimeters, a doctor should monitor it by ultrasound every year. When the number goes past four centimeters up to 4.5, the monitoring should be every six months. Above 4.5 demands that a specialist determines if surgery is needed.
Symptoms to Watch For
Symptoms related this type of an aneurysm may be pulsations within the abdominal cavity that develop. Also, a deep pain focused in the lower back or flank serves as the onset of the problem.
Even if that doctor does discover it, they may be negligent due to related issues such as:
Failure to Monitor
The attention paid to an aneurysm’s growth may be limited or the result of substandard care. Risk factors primarily target males over 60 and include high blood pressure, smoking and genetic issues.
Neglecting such factors or not following through to offer proper treatment can be grounds for litigation. Being able to feel a pulsating mass in the middle of the abdomen is a necessity for the doctor.
Absence or Incorrect Use of Testing
A failure to conduct the necessary tests through such means as an x-ray, MRI or CT scan. The standard x-ray will show calcium deposits along the aneurysm wall, but can’t determine the size or extent of it.
With CT scans, a dye injection can determine if the aorta and blood vessels are in need of repair. However, individuals with kidney disease or allergic reactions should not be in this group.
Failure to Consult a Specialist
A person may require medical personnel who are better equipped to handle the nuances of their condition. If a doctor fails to take that step, the risk of the situation worsening increases significantly. A specialist should take a computed tomographic angiogram (CTA) to determine the course of a surgical procedure.
Before surgery, there may be a problem if the doctor fails to determine if a patient has allergies that could cause dangerous, or in some cases, fatal reactions. During the surgery itself, that patient may be given the wrong dosage, which again could be life-threatening.
Surgery Scheduling Problems
Scheduling unnecessary surgery or delaying needed surgery for additional reasons can also be cause for legal recourse.
Open Repair Surgery is the traditional method used, since it opens the abdomen, allowing the surgeon to work directly on the aorta.
Endovascular Repair is a newer version whereby incisions are made in the groin area to repair any damage caused by an aneurysm.
Infections or Other Issues Related to Surgery
The hygienic condition of the operating room can be a problem if a patient develops an infection related to the surgery. While not necessarily related, the problem of surgical sponges or tools being left in a patient may also factor into post-surgery complications.