Science

Alan Thicke Cause Of Death Proves The Perils Of Ruptured Aorta

By Mandy Adams , Dec 23, 2016 08:28 AM EST
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Alan Thicke passed away on Dec. 13 and the initial cause of death was a heart attack but based on his death certificate, the Candian actor died of a ruptured aorta. The two health conditions are different and this incident is a wake-up call to learn more about the signs and symptoms of a ruptured aorta.

Alan Thicke's Initial Health Findings

Although Thicke's passing was reported weeks back, his death certificate stated that "standard type A aortic dissection" and a "ruptured aorta" are to blame for the death of the actor. A ruptured aorta is different from a heart attack and it is often more fatal.

Heart attacks happen when there is a blockage in the blood vessels while an aortic dissection is a tear in the blood vessels leading away from the heart. Knowing the difference between the two is vital especially in emergency situations like that of Thicke's sudden attack while playing hockey.

Symptoms Of A Ruptured Aorta

A rupture in the aorta often happens after an aortic dissection. A dissection is a major complication of aortic swelling or an aneurysm. A dissection is a medical emergency and although it can be treated with surgery, there are major risks associated with the procedure.

As enumerated in Mayo Clinic, the most common symptoms that an aneurysm is in danger of bursting includes intense and sudden back and chest pains, abdominal pain, breathing problems, unconsciousness, and low blood pressure. A rupture in the aorta is hard to detect and prevent and it is so fatal that only 20 percent of the total number of people with this condition survive.

The initial report about Thicke's death published by Entertainment Tonight detailed symptoms similar to the ones outlined above. Individuals who smoke or those who suffer from high blood pressure are prone to this condition. A ruptured aorta is also more common in older people. Alan Thicke was already 69 years old when one of his aortas ruptured. Given these circumstances, men who are at least 65 years old are encouraged to undergo ultrasound scans to detect aortic swelling and ensure that they are healthy.

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