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What is an aortic dissection and is it malpractice if one is not diagnosed?

Remember John Ritter?  He died from an aortic dissection that was untimely diagnosed.  A recent study of 33 non traumatice aortic dissections concluded that medical care was subopitimal in 66% of these cases.  A perusal of the article demonstrated that most of the cases involved missed diagnosis or delay in diagnosis.   Emergency physicians must maintain a high index of suspicion for dissection.  If you've lost a loved one from a missed aortic dissection, call us and talk about it.