Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

Had Aortic Dissection; Diagnosed With Gastritis

Posted In: Medical Errors 0 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • November 27, 2009
  • 08:14 AM

Two nights before I went on vacation to Vegas, I suffered an aortic dissection at the age of 21. Since I had a physical test for joining the Navy the following week, and one last vacation before I went to boot camp, I was hoping against hope that I had just pulled a muscle or something. I endured the pain long enough to make it through the next two days, but the first night I was in Las Vegas the pain became unbearable.

I called 911 and went to the hospital where many tests were taken. I was given an IV of morphine, as well some some other stuff that I don't remember. When asked if I had health insurance I incorrectly answered no, due to a misunderstanding I had with my current job. I spoke to several different nurses, and I only spoke with the doctor for a brief couple of minutes. After sitting in the hospital for about 2-3 hours, I was released with a diagnosis of gastritis and prescription for some vicoden. The vicoden got me through the rest of my vacation, but when I returned home the pain was back even worse than before. I promptly saw a doctor the next day, and was administered to a local hospital where a few days later I was finally correctly diagnosed with an aortic dissection, which at this point had occurred a week and two days prior to the operation which corrected it.

Just out of curiosity, is gastritis a common misdiagnosis for an aortic dissection? Also, how often is morphine given and vicoden prescribed for it? I have a feeling that telling the docs in Vegas that I was not insured almost cost me my life, especially since they took all the same tests that I received back home in Seattle...

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