This case involves an elderly female who was admitted to the hospital on an emergent basis following a severe automotive accident. The patient was notable for having serious abdominal trauma with a broken sternum, as well as head trauma with a suspected traumatic brain injury and/or concussion. After a few days in the hospital, doctors identified a bowel obstruction that necessitated the removal of a substantial length of the patient’s small intestine. It was during this procedure that doctor’s discovered that the patient also had an saccular aortic aneurysm. The extent of the patient’s cardiovascular injuries as a result of her involvement in the initial accident had a number of long-term consequences that required review by a cardiologist, in order to determine appropriate damages in the suit against the other driver.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please explain why you're qualified to serve as an expert witness on this engagement.
- 2. Is it likely the MVA is the proximate cause of the aortic aneurysm?
Expert Witness Response E-007419
Aortic aneurysms are usually chronic conditions which occur over a period of years, as such an aortic aneurysm is usually not the result of chest trauma. Generally speaking, if an individual with an aortic aneurysm is involved with chest trauma, the complication is related to dissection of the aorta which involves separation of the walls of the aorta and which is a very serious and often fatal occurrence. Occasionally, a patient may develop a hematoma or bleeding into the aortic wall and have the appearance of an aneurysm but I am unable to make this determination on the basis of the information available. Since aneurysms are generally chronic unless there is a dissection, it would be unlikely that the accident and subsequent chest trauma resulted in the formation of the aneurysm unless there was evidence of acute bleeding into the aortic wall.