In Portugal, three out of four patients with a ruptured of an abdominal aortic aneurysm do not survive and more than a third of the patients do not even arrive at the hospital, which suggests the need to improve the planning of the hospital network.
This is one of the conclusions of a work of the first author Marina Dias-Neto, professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto (FMUP), coordinated by Sérgio Sampaio, also a professor at FMUP and researcher of the CINTESIS – Center for Health Technology and Services Research.
According to the article published in the European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, 2,275 patients with 50 years of age or older had a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm between 2000 and 2015, and of those 1460 were admitted to public hospitals.
The incidence of this problem has remained stable in Portugal in the last years studied. Total mortality, on the other hand, increased, attributed to deaths occurring outside the hospitals, which represent about half of the 1710 deaths recorded in that period.
As the authors warn, “mortality outside the hospital remains a cause for concern”, justifying “better planning of the Vascular Surgery network in Portugal”.
The data in this study should reflect, first of all, problems in accessing departments of Vascular Surgery and specialized treatments in this type of aneurysms, namely in the South and in inland Portugal.
“The vascular departments that received patients with a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm are located on the North Coast and Center of the country. The population of the South and in inland Portugal does not have close access to specialized vascular surgery ”, they indicate.
The abdominal aortic aneurysm rupture is a potentially deadly condition that requires immediate treatment in a specialized hospital department. Symptoms include sudden onset of low back or abdominal pain, as well as syncope or pre-syncope, and should be treated as an emergency.