My brother Pat died of an Aortic dissection last year at the age of 34. He's son was only 1 at the time.
This charity raises awareness for this is Irish and English Hospitals. If the CUH A&E staff had diagnosed him correctly Pat may still be alive.
Aortic dissection is caused by a partial tear in the wall of the aorta. This tear then spreads along the length of the aorta. This can rupture or interrupt the blood supply to vital organs. If the tear occurs in the first part of the aorta, in the front of the chest, it is called a type A dissection. If it occurs in the aorta in the back of the chest it is a type B dissection.
Aortic dissection can affect adults of any age. It is an important cause of maternal death. Untreated type A dissection is almost always fatal. Type B dissection is much less dangerous and is rarely fatal in the short term.
In the UK & Ireland, over 2,000 people per year lose their lives from aortic dissection, by contrast, 1,870 people per year lose their lives in road traffic accidents. Whilst death in pregnancy is very rare 11% of maternal deaths from cardiovascular causes are due to aortic dissection. These numbers are projected to almost double by 2050.