An Indiana jury has reached a verdict requiring a doctor to pay $4.45 million to the family of a man who died of an abdominal aortic aneurysm approximately 12 hours after being discharged from a hospital with a misdiagnosis of kidney stones. According to attorneys, the man’s death would have been prevented if the doctor had ordered a routine CT scan. A copy of an article regarding the case can be found here.
An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a weakness in aorta, the largest blood carrying vessel of the body. An abdominal aortic aneurysm – otherwise known as a “Triple A” – can be a medical emergency if it reaches certain size, due to the danger of rupture. Once the aorta ruptures, there is an extremely high death rate, especially if the person is not in the hospital when it happens. The standard test used for diagnosing an abdominal aortic aneurysm is a simple CT scan.