Pulmonary Embolism and Deep Vein Thrombosis
Having a serious medical condition is scary. Since we can only guess what’s happening inside of our bodies, we rely on medical professionals to diagnose and treat us when something goes wrong. When a condition is a medical emergency it’s especially important to receive effective treatment before it’s too late. Sometimes, however, a doctor negligently misdiagnoses or mistreats a serious condition and patient injury results. This is especially common in the treatment of pulmonary embolisms, one of the leading causes of preventable death of hospitalized patients in the country. If you or a loved one has been injured by a doctor’s negligence in diagnosing or treating a pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis, continue reading or call our offices to speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot in the lungs. The clot blocks blood circulation to the lungs and can lead to permanent health complications or death. Pulmonary emboli usually start as blood clots in the large veins of the abdomen or extremities. Anything can dislodge a clot in a limb or in the abdomen (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT), and once it breaks off it can travel through the blood stream anywhere in the body. One that gets caught in the blood vessels of the lungs is a pulmonary embolism (PE). Symptoms of a PE include shortness of breath, low blood oxygen levels, sharp chest pain, rapid heart rate, profuse sweating, and anxiety.
When a patient presents with symptoms of a PE it’s vital for doctors to recognize what’s going on and diagnose and treat the blood clot. Failure to timely recognize symptoms and begin treatment could cost a patient his or her life. Doctors must be especially cognizant of patients with risk factors for PE, which include previous blood clots, hospitalization, recent surgeries, immobilization, long plane rides or car travel, recent broken bones or other bodily trauma, cancer, heart disease, pregnancy, recently giving birth, advanced age, birth control, stroke or heart attack, family history, obesity, smoking, genetic factors, varicose veins, and recent infections.
Your doctor owes you a certain standard of care, essentially they must treat you as most other doctors would in similar circumstances. In the case of a PE or DVT, your doctor is expected to recognize symptoms and risk factors, diagnose you correctly and treat you in a timely and appropriate manner. Negligence involving the treatment or diagnosis of a PE can sometimes involve delayed or misdiagnosis, premature discharge from the hospital, delayed treatment, or ineffective monitoring of the patient.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a doctor’s negligence in the diagnosis or treatment of a PE or DVT, a medical malpractice attorney may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. A Chicago medical malpractice attorney will acquire experts to testify as to the appropriate standard of care, investigate your case, interview relevant witnesses, and thoroughly study your medical history. Call our offices at (312) 236-2900 to speak to a member of our dedicated staff. Don’t hesitate, medical malpractice claims have some of the shortest statutes of limitations, and time could be running out to file yours.