AHA/ACC Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Patients With Thoracic Aortic Disease (2010)

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Commentary by Reed E. Pyeritz, MD, PhD

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Emergency care


Basic Life Support (BLS)

Transport in line with other high-risk protocols (e.g., stroke, STEMI).

  • Most importantly, relay any concern regarding aortic dissection to the receiving care team on arrival.

Advanced Life Support (ALS)

Follow the local and regional protocol for shock.

Consider aggressive pain control within whatever framework protocols allow. Control of pain will decrease heart rate and blood pressure and is good care for any condition.

IMPORTANT:Take note if the patient tells you he/she has had an aneurysm or Marfan syndrome (or other condition noted above). This should alert the EMS provider to consider rapid transport with treatment provided en route and notification of receiving care team of concern regarding aortic dissection upon arrival.