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Aortic Aneurysm - When to Call a Doctor

Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if you have signs of a ruptured aortic aneurysm such as:

  • Sudden, severe pain.
  • An extreme drop in blood pressure.
  • Signs of shock, such as passing out or feeling very dizzy, weak, or less alert.

If you witness a person become unconscious, call 911 or other emergency services and start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The emergency operator can coach you on how to do CPR. For more information about CPR, see the Rescue Breathing and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation section of the topic Dealing With Emergencies.

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Call a doctor immediately if you have:

  • A pulsating mass in your abdomen.
  • Sudden weakness in the lower extremities on one side of the body.
  • Chest pain you have not experienced before.
  • A "cold foot" or a black or blue painful toe for no apparent reason.

Call for a doctor appointment if you have:

  • Pain in the chest, abdomen, or lower back, possibly spreading to the groin, buttocks, or legs. The pain may be deep, aching, gnawing, and/or throbbing, and may last for hours or days. It is typically not affected by movement, although certain positions may be more comfortable than others.
  • Fever or weight loss for no apparent reason.

Who to see

Health professionals who can evaluate symptoms that may be related to an aortic aneurysm and order the tests needed for further evaluation of symptoms include:

If you have a fast-growing aortic aneurysm, you may be referred to a vascular surgeon, who can evaluate your need for surgery.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 22, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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