What are the symptoms of an aortic dissection?
- severe chest, back, and/or limb pain
- weakness, difficulty walking, slurred speech, or loss or vision
- loss of consciousness
- severe uncontrolled hypertension
In addition to considering other conditions (eg a heart attack or stroke), I should be urgently assessed for an aortic dissection. The majority of aortic dissections require emergent surgery; without appropriate treatment, the risk of death increases 1-3% per hour.