"The Great Mimicker"
An aortic dissection can easily be mistaken for other conditions when someone arrives to a hospital. This is why in medical circles, it has been referred to as "The Great Mimicker".
Outside of life-threatening conditions like heart attack or stroke, which an Aortic Dissection can mimic, we know community members have been discharged from the ER, misdiagnosed with acid reflux, sciatica, muscle pulls, esophagitis, and more non-emergent conditions.
These misdiagnoses lead to worse outcomes for patients and in some cases...death. That is why we fight so hard to have imaging, such as a CT scan, in an acute setting, the "gold standard" when people present with unexplained pain, especially in the chest and back.
If we Think Aorta, we will save lives and improve outcomes!
for an interesting read.