A Louisville Medical Malpractice Attorney Discusses Pulmonary Embolism Misdiagnosis
Pulmonary embolism, in which a blood clot becomes lodged in the primary artery of the lungs, is a dangerous and deadly medical condition that must be treated as soon as possible. Even a delay of seconds or minutes can cause a poor outcome, permanent damage, and possibly death. When pulmonary embolism is delayed or misdiagnosed as another medical condition, the patient in question may suffer severe long-term disabilities, or not survive at all.
In some cases, doctors and nurses act quickly and efficiently to save a patient suffering from a pulmonary embolism, but the patient still experiences a poor outcome. In other cases, though, a person’s medical team made vital mistakes or acted negligently, causing undue harm and injury to their patient. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured by pulmonary embolism – or if your loved one has died from complications of a pulmonary embolism – it is important that you understand what happened, why, and whether anyone was at fault for the outcome.
At Gladstein Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping families struggling in the wake of a pulmonary embolism event. We can help you understand what happened, and whether the consequences were borne out of negligence. It all starts with a free, confidential case review. To schedule your meeting with Kentucky medical malpractice attorney Seth Gladstein, and to find out more about your case, please call our team today at (800) 991-0474.
What is Pulmonary Embolism? Symptoms & Risk Factors
When a blood clot goes through the bloodstream and lodges itself into the primary artery of the lungs, it causes an obstruction. This condition, called pulmonary embolism, can disrupt blood flow to the heart and oxygen to the body. Pulmonary embolism is often caused by a DVT, or deep venous thrombosis, which is when a blood clot from the arm or leg breaks loose and travels to the lungs.
The symptoms of pulmonary embolism include:
- Pain, discomfort, or tightness in the chest area
- Swelling of an arm or leg
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Loss of consciousness
- Coughing up blood
- Rapid breathing
- Pain or discomfort in the leg area
Pulmonary embolisms are often fatal, particularly if they are not diagnosed and treated immediately. Physicians and other healthcare providers should always act quickly and efficiently when a patient has signs of pulmonary embolism, in order to prevent permanent damage and death. In order to properly diagnose pulmonary embolisms, x-rays, CT scans, and bloodwork should be done right away.
Some people are more at risk for pulmonary embolism, including those who report the following:
- History of trauma
- Hormone replacement therapy
- HIV/AIDS or other immune diseases
- Decrease in movement and mobility
- Decreased mobility due to frequent travel
Understanding Pulmonary Embolism Misdiagnosis
A recent study found that a shocking number of the people suffering from pulmonary embolism were sent home from the emergency room after a doctor incorrectly diagnosed them with minor ailments, like asthma or a virus.
Pulmonary embolism diagnosis may be delayed when:
- A doctor fails to recognize the signs and symptoms of pulmonary embolism.
- A doctor fails to review a patient’s medical history.
- A doctor fails to order the correct diagnostic tests.
- A doctor fails to correctly administer or analyze the diagnostic tests.
- A doctor fails to administer the proper treatments for the diagnosis.
- A doctor fails to treat the blood clot quickly or efficiently.
- A hospital or emergency room fails to see the patient in a timely manner.
- A hospital or emergency room lacks the proper staffing or procedures.
These mistakes are not acceptable. Especially if you were exhibiting common signs of blood clots in your lungs, your doctor has a responsibility under the law to treat you with a certain standard of care that includes making a reasonable diagnosis, given symptoms, medical history, and diagnostic tests. If your pulmonary embolism was not correctly diagnosed, and certainly if you were sent home from the hospital despite a later pulmonary embolism diagnosis, we recommend that you seek legal assistance regarding your case.
Kentucky Medical Malpractice Attorney Seth Gladstein Can Help
Whether it results in serious injury or death, pulmonary embolism can have an enormous impact on entire families who may struggle to pay medical bills, recover as fully as possible, overcome pain and suffering, and survive financially. Louisville medical malpractice lawyer Seth Gladstein has the passion, knowledge, and experience to help you understand your pulmonary embolism case, as well as your possible options for legal action.
Gladstein Law Office offers confidential, complimentary consultations. To schedule yours, please call us today at (502) 855-4177 or toll-free at (800) 991-0474. Additionally, you may fill out our online contact form and we will contact you within 24 hours of receiving your query.
*Each case is different and the past record is no assurance that we will be successful in reaching a favorable result in any future case. Client pays costs only upon recovery.