Article Abstract

How to prevent inadvertent emergency anticoagulation in acute type A aortic dissection: when in doubt, don’t

Authors: Silke Zschaler, Gerard Schmidt, Marian Kukucka, Georg Syrmas, Lisa Zaschke, Stephan Dominik Kurz


Inadvertent emergency anticoagulation in patients with acute type A aortic dissection (ATAAD) has been sparsely reported. There are case reports bringing this potential critical incident to attention, however, little is known about the number of undetected and unreported cases. We approach this issue based on a case report of inadvertent emergency anticoagulation in ATAAD and attempt to shed light on aspects that may have contributed to the critical incident: The challenge of distinguishing an ATAAD from an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and the potential underestimation of incidents of ATAAD. We also discuss errors and biases in medical decision making, and provide suggestions that may help raise awareness of how ATAAD can be mimicking ACS in clinical practice.