Statistics show that a diagnosis of Aortic Dissection is considered in only half of the patients who present with this fatal condition. One-third of patients with an Aortic Dissection are actively treated in Emergency Medicine for an incorrect diagnosis such as a heart attack or gastritis.
Aortic Dissection is not a difficult condition to diagnose when you have a heightened suspicion and are aware enough to THINK AORTA in the first instance. Experience shows that if Emergency Departments educate staff about Aortic Dissection and lower the barriers to CT scanning, lives will be saved.
Omar Nawaytou of Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital was inspired by the THINK AORTA campaign and came up with the concept of an Aortic Dissection educational film that could be embedded into every induction within Emergency Departments across the UK.
Taking the idea into action, Catherine Fowler of Aortic Dissection Awareness UK & Ireland took on the initiative to create and lead a collaboration between SCTS, Royal College of Emergency Medicine & Royal Collage of Radiology to develop a learning experience for Emergency Medicine providing valuable perspectives across the patient pathway. Pamela Struthers (patient of Deborah Harrington LHCH) shares her personal story, where she survived an acute aortic dissection following a delayed diagnosis.
The learning material will be released on the RCEM eLeaning platform in May 2019. As it is an open access platform, materials are available for you to access, share and encourage your colleagues in radiology and emergency medicine to adopt and embed.
Together we can make a difference to inspire and accelerate the needed change to save lives.