• One must identify those fatal errors in the treatment of patients with ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) to improve future treatment and reduce mortality. Our vascular registry identified 29 patients with ruptured AAAs who died following admission to the UCLA Hospital, Los Angeles, and the Sepulveda (Calif) Veterans Administration Hospital between 1971 and 1981. Review of the records identified four categories of error that contributed to death. These included failure to proceed with elective aneurysmectomy in 12 patients with known AAAs, error in the diagnosis of aortic rupture that led to delay in getting nine patients to the operating room, intraoperative technical error that produced venous injury in eight patients, and undue delay in anesthetic induction in four patients. Following the outline of a careful treatment approach should further reduce the mortality in the treatment of patients with ruptured AAAs.
(Arch Surg 1984;119:1264-1268)