Loyola Offering Free Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screenings

Monday, June 4, 2018 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews 

Loyola Medicine will offer a free ultrasound screening for people at risk for an abdominal aortic aneurysm. In a statement, Loyola officials described the aneurysms as “an undiagnosed silent killer” that more than one million Americans are living with.

The screenings will be held on at Loyola University Medical Center, 2160 S. 1st Ave. in Maywood, from 8 a.m. to noon.

To make an appointment for the Loyola AAA screening, call 888 871-3801. Advance registration and an eight-hour fast are required. The screening is supported by W. L. Gore and AAAneurysm Outreach.

“An AAA is a bulge in the wall of the aorta, the largest artery in the body,” Loyola officials said in the statement. “The aorta originates at the heart and extends down to the abdomen. An AAA, especially a large one, could burst at any time, causing massive internal bleeding that could be fatal.”

Dr. Bernadette Aulivola, the director of Loyola Medicine’s division of vascular surgery and endovascular therapy, said that “early detection of “aortic aneurysms is the key to minimizing the risk of rupture and death. A noninvasive ultrasound test is the best way to screen for an abdominal aortic aneurysm and measure its size.”

Aulivola said that an aneurysm is best identified when small, so that it can be monitored and repaired before when it poses a significant risk of rupturing.

“Aneurysms expand slowly over years and typically cause no symptoms until a rupture occurs,” Loyola officials noted. “More than 10,000 people in the United States die each year from undiagnosed AAAs. AAA rupture is the third leading cause of sudden death in men 60 and older in the United States.”

Terry Crowe, 71, a Loyola patient from Indiana, said that he didn’t know of the nearly 3.5-inch aneurysm in his abdomen until he developed severe stomach pain and was rushed to a local emergency room, where a CT scan confirmed the presence of a large aneurysm.

“The aneurysm had ruptured, but fortunately the bleeding was contained,” Loyola officials said. “Mr. Crowe was helicoptered to Loyola for treatment.”

“I was very fortunate,” Mr. Crowe said in Loyola’s statement. “I had a warning sign and was able to get to the hospital.” VFP 

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