Aortic dissections, aneurysms and ruptures. Sounds mighty dry and dull…until it’s your patient. How well do you remember the anatomy and physiology of the aorta? Would you recognize the sometimes challenging presentations that may herald aortic conditions? When should your nurse antennae go up and begin twitching? And what should you do about it?

A good review of “aortic disease” can be found in the current publication of the Canadian Journal of Emergency Nursing. If you weren’t a NENA member when the latest edition (CJEN 37-1) was mailed to all the members this spring, you can still read this fascinating article by joining and reading it online.