Grant Wahl, a football writer, passed away from a thoracic aortic aneurysm during the World Cup in Qatar- An aneurysm is a small blood vessel bulge that has the potential to burst. Aneurysms deteriorate over time and can occasionally go unnoticed.
According to his family, Grant Wahl, an American football writer, passed away last week as a result of a catastrophic tear in a large blood vessel exiting his heart. Everyone who knew Wahl and his journalism was shocked by his sudden and unexpected death in Qatar last week. This sparked speculation about the cause of his death, which included ominous claims that the Qatari government was retaliating for a critical report he had filed and potential ties to Covid-19 vaccines. At the time of his current death, Wahl was 49 and in good health.
Following an autopsy in the United States, Wahl’s wife, infectious diseases specialist Dr. Celine Gounder, told reporters, “I really do feel some main relief in knowing what it was.” She was quoted as saying that Wahl most likely passed away without experiencing any pain.
According to The New York Times, a “ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm,” a blood vessel weakening that frequently goes unnoticed, was discovered during Wahl’s autopsy. The report stated that as the aneurysm grows, it may cause a cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain—some of which Wahl felt while in Qatar.
Grant Wahl- The circumstance
A blood vessel may widen to more than 50% of its normal diameter due to an aneurysm, which is a localised weakening of the blood vessel’s wall that causes the vessel to mainly bulge in that area. Aneurisms occur more frequently in arteries than veins.
The largest blood vessel in the main body and the main artery that mainly carries oxygenated blood from the main heart to the rest of the body is the aorta. Thoracic refers to the area of the blood vessel that passes through the chest; an aortic aneurysm is a weakening and also bulging in a portion of the aorta.
According to a note from Johns Hopkins Medicine, abdominal aortic aneurysms—also known as “abdominal aortic aneurysms”—occur more frequently in the section of the aorta that mainly runs through the abdomen than the chest.
Over time, an aneurysm grows larger and that portion of the blood vessel’s wall becomes progressively more vulnerable. The vessel may eventually rupture or separate, resulting in a traumatic and potentially fatal bleeding rush.
Causes and effects
The Johns Hopkins note lists all I degenerative disease that results in aortic wall tissue breakdown; (ii) genetic disorders; (iii) and family history; (iv) vasculitis, or artery inflammation; and (v) atherosclerosis, or plaque build-up on artery walls, as potential causes of thoracic aortic aneurysm. An infection can occasionally cause an aneurysm as well.
According to the NYT report, medical professionals are looking into whether Wahl had Marfan syndrome, a genetic condition that raises the risk of this particular type of aneurysm. The report stated that the man’s height, thinness, and long arms could all be indicators of the syndrome.
Marfan syndrome is a main genetic condition that affects connective tissue and can harm blood vessels and lead to aneurysms of the aorta, according to the US Centers for all Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) page on the condition. According to the CDC, the syndrome manifests in approximately 1 in 5,000 people and is brought on by a mutation in the FBN1 gene that impairs the body’s ability to produce the proteins required for the development of connective tissue.
According to the Johns Hopkins fact sheet, thoracic aortic aneurysm symptoms can vary depending on the location, size, and rate of growth of the bulging; frequently, there are no symptoms at all.
If symptoms do manifest, they may include I jaw, neck, chest, or upper back pain (due to pressure on the trachea); (ii) wheezing, coughing, or shortness of breath; (iii) hoarseness; and (iv) difficulty swallowing (due to pressure on the oesophagus). The fact that these symptoms are not specific to thoracic aortic aneurysms may cause a delay in receiving targeted medical care.
In the days of leading up to his death, Wahl had complained of having a cold. During the quarterfinal match between Argentina and also the Netherlands, he passed out in the press box and was not revived.
Identification and treatment
The Johns Hopkins note states that a doctor may review a patient’s medical history and also conduct a thorough physical examination that includes a chest X-ray, an arteriogram, a computed tomography (CT) scan, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), an echocardiogram, a transoesophageal echocardiogram, and other imaging tests (angiogram).
Treatment options include managing risk factors like quitting smoking, controlling blood sugar (for diabetics), and losing weight (if overweight), and eating a healthy diet, as well as monitoring the bulge’s size and rate of growth using an MRI or CT. For high blood pressure or high cholesterol, medications may be prescribed.
If the aneurysm is large or also causing symptoms, surgery may be required. This may involve thoracic aortic aneurysm open repair, which involves making a large incision, or endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR), which calls for small incisions in the groyne. The aneurysm may be removed during surgery, or a stent may be inserted to protect the blood vessel from potential rupture.
Aortic aneurysm: What is it?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an aortic aneurysm is a balloon-like growth in the aorta, the major artery that carries blood from the heart through the chest and torso.
Aortic aneurysms can split or burst when the force of blood pumping causes the layers of the artery wall to separate, allowing blood to flow between them. Dissection is the term for this procedure. An entire aneurysm rupture could result in internal bleeding. An example of this is a rupture. Dissections and ruptures account for the majority of fatalities related to aortic aneurysms.
9,904 Americans passed away in 2019 as a result of aortic aneurysms or dissections. 59% of all fatal aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection cases in 2019 are male. Around 75% of all abdominal aortic aneurysms have a smoking history. If untreated, aneurysms can cause the blood vessel wall to rupture or break, which can be fatal. Dr. Tara Narula, a practising cardiologist and CNN Medical Correspondent, says that surviving an incident like Wahl’s is extremely unusual.
According to Narula, the presence of blood in the sac that encircles the heart is a sign that an artery wall has ruptured. She explained that normally there isn’t any blood in that area, but if there is enough blood to fill it, it can cause cardiac arrest because it effectively prevents the heart from beating.
Disputes surrounding Wahl’s passing
Anti-vaxxer Star Kirstie Alley was allegedly murdered because of her beliefs, according to many conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theorists are now asserting that Wahl’s death was caused by the COVID-19 vaccination. However, according to Wahl’s wife, COVID was unrelated to her death.
Immediately after Wahl’s passing, rumours of foul play in the case began to circulate. An idea that was first expressed by his out brother Eric Wahl. Grant Wahl wore a rainbow jersey to a World Cup game in support of his brother, and Eric Wahl was worried that Grant Wahl might suffer repercussions in a nation where homosexuality is illegal. After Grant Wahl wore the shirt, he did receive death threats; however, Eric Wahl tweeted that he no longer suspects foul play in response to the findings of the American autopsy.
edited and proofread by nikita sharma