Wednesday, August 31, 2016

September 2016 Awareness Month - It's All About the "Big A" in the Chest!

Normal Aorta

The aorta is so important,
 we call it the "Big A"! 

To baseball fans in the US, the Big A means Angels Stadium in southern California. At the Bicuspid Aortic Foundation, we mean something else; to us, the Big A is the aorta in the chest. It is the largest artery in our bodies, and it's proper functioning is without question vital to our lives.

Why does the aorta need its own awareness month, September?
Maybe the aorta could just share February with the heart?

Tragedies happen when no one thinks about the aorta. In the emergency room (ER), someone with chest pain will be checked for a heart attack. The blood tests come back normal, so is the EKG. It's not the heart.

No one thinks of the aorta.

The minutes go by, turning into hours. Sometimes the person is still in the ER, sometimes they are back home. Suddenly, they are dead. The opportunity to help them was missed. 

All because no one thought about the aorta.

This is one reason that the aorta needs its own month - just to help everyone think about it in time.

Aorta with aneurysm
Another reason is that aortic disease is very different from what is typically called heart disease. The treatment is different too.

Aortic disease is not heart disease!
If it's not the heart, check the aorta! 

Let's Learn All About the Big A this September!
In a nutshell, this large, high pressure artery should not be confused with the heart. Having its own month provides a time to learn about the aorta in the chest: what it does, the risks aortic disease presents to us, and the treatment available when needed. 

At the Bicuspid Aortic Foundation, we will spend this September featuring articles on the following topics:
  • Thoracic Aorta - what it is, what it does
  • Thoracic Aortic Disease
  • Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
  • Thoracic Aortic Dissection
  • Thoracic Aortic Coarctation
We will also honor the memory of those who were cruelly taken from us by thoracic aortic disease, and the courage of those who live with injury caused by thoracic aortic disease.

Shining a spotlight on 
the Big A,
Together we are
Learning, Sharing,
Empowering each other,
Creating a Climate of Hope.

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