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Failure to Diagnose Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

The aorta is the body's largest blood vessel. From the heart, it transports oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. An aneurysm is a weak spot in the wall of an artery. Internal arterial pressure causes the weakened area to protrude beyond the normal blood vessel width. An abdominal aortic aneurysm is an enlargement of the large blood vessel that supplies the abdomen, legs, and pelvis with blood. With time, the blood vessel expands and risks rupturing or separating. This can potentially result in life-threatening bleeding and death.

Aneurysms are most prevalent in the portion of the aorta that runs through the abdomen; hence, the term abdominal aortic aneurysm. Aortic abdominal aneurysm is also known as AAA or triple-A. Once an aneurysm has formed, it will gradually grow in size and become progressively weaker. An abdominal aneurysm may be treated with surgical repair, aneurysm removal, or the insertion of a stent to support the blood vessel and prevent rupture.

The number of people with abdominal aortic aneurysms has tripled in the past 30 years, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control. Unfortunately, many abdominal aortic aneurysms are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed by physicians, resulting in surgical delays and additional complications for patients. The optimal response to this condition is to obtain a prompt diagnosis and treatment.  If you have experienced a misdiagnosis or other form of medical negligence involving abdominal aortic aneurysms, contact one of our experienced Upstate New York medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano.  We have multiple convenient office locations throughout Upstate New York. The results we have obtained for our clients are reflective of our extensive experience in the field of medical malpractice.

Abdominal aortic aneurysms can result from the breakdown of aortic wall tissues, which can be caused by a variety of factors. Although the exact cause is unknown, atherosclerosis is believed to play a significant role. Plaque, which is a deposition of fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium, and fibrin in the inner lining of an artery, is the cause of atherosclerosis. In the majority of cases, aneurysms develop slowly and manifest without symptoms. When an aneurysm ruptures, common symptoms include abdominal or back pain, nausea, rapid heart rate, shock, and vomiting.

The precise cause of abdominal aortic aneurysms is unknown at this time. Age, emphysema, ethnicity, high cholesterol, hypertension, obesity, smoking, and numerous genetic factors all contribute to an increased risk of abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Typically, an abdominal examination is the first step in diagnosing an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Indicators that a person may have an abdominal aortic aneurysm include abdominal lumps, pulsating sensations, and a stiff or rigid abdomen. If medical professionals suspect a patient has an abdominal aortic aneurysm, they should conduct an abdominal CT scan or ultrasound. Additionally, X-rays can detect an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

If the aneurysm is greater than two inches in size, surgery may be recommended as a treatment option. Additionally, surgery may be required if the aneurysm is growing rapidly, which increases the likelihood of rupture. Large aneurysms are more likely to rupture in women than in men. Typically, medical professionals will attempt to perform surgery as soon as possible before the associated complications worsen. A small or symptom-free aneurysm may not require surgery until it reaches a certain size or grows rapidly over a short period. Your doctor may recommend "watchful waiting." To closely monitor the aneurysm, an ultrasound, duplex scan, or CT scan may be performed every six months, and blood pressure medication may be used to control high blood pressure.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment upon diagnosis. Failure to treat can lead to death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9,923 individuals died from abdominal aortic aneurysms in 2021 alone. Therefore, early detection is essential. Unfortunately, timely diagnosis is not always made, resulting in death. Negligence occurs when a physician fails to diagnose an abdominal aortic aneurysm due to their error, resulting in a serious complication or even death for the patient.

Our highly skilled medical malpractice lawyers aggressively advocate for victims of medical malpractice throughout Upstate New York. If you or someone you love has suffered harm because of failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, contact the seasoned attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano.  We represent injured clients and their families throughout Upstate New York, including Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Buffalo, Elmira, Binghamton, Auburn, Ithaca, Oswego, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, Cortland, Lowville, Oneida, Watertown, Utica, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Lyons, and surrounding areas.  Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to discuss your case.

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