Canadian actor and composer Alan Thicke passed away Tuesday, after suffering a heart attack while playing hockey with among his boy in California. Mike Le Couteur looks ago at the life of a Canuck who made his note on Hollywood – Dec 14, 2016

Alan Thicke was playing ice hockey v his boy Carter top top Dec. 13 when he collapsed and later died.

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The 69-year-old Canadian actor’s death certificate claimed his aorta ruptured about three hrs after it developed a tear. One aortic tear likewise killed actor john Ritter in 2003.

READ MORE: ‘Growing Pains’ star, Alan Thicke, dies at age 69

Here’s what you must know about what happened to Thicke and also his love health:

The aorta is the main artery the carries blood to your heart, brain, arms and also the rest of your body. The shaped choose a liquid cane, follow to Dr. Maral Ouzounian, a cardiac operated doctor at the University health Network’s Peter Munk Cardiac center in Toronto. According to Thicke’s death certificate, he proficient a kind A dissection ~ above his aorta.


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READ MORE: Alan Thicke died of a ruptured aorta artery, death certificate reveals

A dissection means there was a tear in the wall surface of the aorta and blood end up in two networks instead that one. A type A dissection way the rip emerged in the very first part of the aorta, closest to the heart, she explained.

“Those species of dissections are uniformly deadly without immediate open cardiac surgery,” Ouzounian told worldwide News. Ouzounian is a cardiac operated doctor specializing in complex aortic repair. She looks after patients through aortic aneurysms and also researches genetic reasons of them.

“When dissection happens, over there is often, but not always, a significant amount the pain,” she said.

What reasons a torn aorta?

Tears usually occur if the aortic wall is fragile. That can be tied come pre-existing issues, such together an aortic aneurysm, which is when the aorta i do not care enlarged. Sometimes doctors have the right to pick up on the aneurysm and also monitor its expansion while regulating blood pressure levels.

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Once it gets to a details size, doctors repair the aorta v an elective surgery. If it’s no picked up, the wall surfaces expand and also weaken, leaving you breakable to a tear or rupture.


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People through high blood pressure deserve to tear your aorta if they have severe hypertension, when dissections can take place – in rare instances – indigenous doing extremely strenuous weight lifting or from excessive emotional or physics exertion.

What is the survival rate for ruptured aortas?

If people with a form A dissection don’t obtain surgery, the fatality rate is one every cent every hour.

“Within 48 hours, 50 every cent of human being who have this will certainly die,” Ouzounian said.

Elective surgeries are exceptionally successful: if doctors monitor an aneurysm and its growth and also repair the aorta once necessary, fatality from the operation or its symptom is less than one every cent.

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If a dissection occurs, such as in Thicke’s case, “you might die prior to you even get to the hospital because that emergency surgery,” Ouzounian said.

There’s a 20 per cent threat of death from surgery, and also a much greater risk of symptom or future troubles following emergency surgical procedure as well.

Reports indicate Thicke make it to hospital and the emergency room but that the ultimately died while in the operation room.


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Operating top top a ruptured aorta is an hours-long surgical procedure – approximately eight hours. The patient is linked to a love lung machine, their body is cooled to reduce blood circulation to the brain and the rest of the aorta is replaced through a graft and stitched earlier together.

What room the symptom to pay attention to? Why is the often puzzled with a love attack?

Media outlets report the Thicke felt chest pains while the was playing ice hockey with his son. That felt nauseous, to be vomiting and ultimately finished up in hospital wherein he died, according to TMZ.

These are common heart attack symptoms too, follow to Ouzounian. Civilization often confuse a ruptured aorta through a heart attack.

Most patients v a ruptured aorta have actually severe chest pain, they define a tearing or take it pain in in between their chest and shoulder blades.

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But a ruptured aorta is only detected with a CT scan to check a diagnosis. If the obvious, the patience is rushed to surgery.

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People who have encountered an aortic aneurysm should have actually their family members – siblings, children and also parents – screened with imaging because that the exact same condition.