An ACUTE aortic dissection is a spontaneous process, which is hard to predict. Due to the nature of the condition the results are often fatal. Patients that make it to the Emergency Room with an acute aortic dissection present with a series of urgent medical complications.
Complications associated with aortic dissections are often the result of blood pressure changes, which occur due to the damage to aorta. Further damage and tearing of the aorta can be prevented by stabilizing a patient’s blood pressure. Therefore, controlling blood pressure with medications is the first line of defense when treating aortic dissections.
There are classifications of aortic dissections, which are depicted in the diagram below. As you can see blood flow is restricted at different points, which is a distinguishing factor of aortic dissections. Type B aortic dissections are more likely to respond to medications therapies. Whereas Type A aortic dissections are more likely to warrant emergency surgery to stabilize and repair damage to the heart.
There are a number of additional variables to consider when diagnosing and treating aortic dissections. Additional research and education is recommended, especially for providers working in an acute care setting. Research advises treatment of aortic dissections within a 2-4 week period for optimum results.