Bradenton Pulmonary Embolism Attorney
Pulmonary Embolism may Result from Misdiagnosis & Medical Malpractice
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 100,000 Americans die every year of a pulmonary embolism (PE). For about one-quarter of these people, sudden death is the first symptom that they have a PE. Up to another third die within one month of diagnosis. It is essential that a possible pulmonary embolism be promptly and correctly diagnosed and treated, or the result is highly likely to be permanent heart damage, brain damage or death. When medical mistakes have caused a disastrous outcome from pulmonary embolism, the attorneys at The Nurse Attorney, P.A. in Sarasota/Bradenton fight to hold the negligent doctor, radiologist or hospital accountable for their negligence. Our lawyers have extensive experience in blood clot malpractice and can help individuals and families recover much-needed compensation and justice while helping to ensure that future patients receive better care.
What is a Pulmonary Embolism?
Basically, a PE is a blood clot in the lungs. Most often, a PE starts off as a blood clot in the legs. This type of blood clot is typically referred to as a deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. A DVT can form if a person is sitting or immobilized for too long in one position, allowing blood to pool and coagulate in a certain area. The danger of a DVT is that the clot will break free from its position in the legs and travel through the blood stream into the lungs and the pulmonary artery, becoming a pulmonary embolism. Once there, the PE is likely to block the flow of oxygenated blood to the heart or brain, causing permanent heart damage, brain damage or death. Permanent damage or death can occur from a single large clot or the presence of many smaller clots.
Hospitals should know better
It is well known to medical professionals that a DVT can form when a person is immobilized for too long. One of the most common situations for a person to be rendered immobile is after having a surgery. It is astonishing to learn that many DVTs and PEs form in hospitals after an operation. There are many steps hospitals can take to prevent a DVT from forming in their post-operative patients. One solution is to prescribe anticoagulants or blood thinners to prevent the formation of a clot, but this course of action is not always recommended when it would cause excessive bleeding to the patient. Another alternative is to get the patient out of bed and walking around as soon as possible after an operation. At the very least, hospital patients and nursing home residents who cannot move themselves should be shifted or turned several times a day to prevent a DVT or pressure ulcer (bedsore) from forming. Failure to keep a DVT or PE from forming in the hospital may be malpractice.
Prompt and accurate diagnosis is key
Brain damage and death from a PE often occur because the PE was not properly diagnosed. Symptoms of a PE may include coughing, chest pain or shortness of breath, but these symptoms can indicate other diseases or conditions as well as PE, such as an upper respiratory infection (bronchitis), anemia, emphysema or COPD. An EKG or chest x-ray may not catch the presence of a PE; a spiral CT is a much better diagnostic tool for diagnosing PE. If testing has not positively identified the source of the symptoms, failing to order a spiral CT to rule out the differential diagnosis of PE may be malpractice. Even when a spiral CT is ordered, the results may be misread by the radiologist, an error which if not caught and corrected is another form of medical malpractice inflicted on the patient.
Attorney Marjorie Chalfant knows both the law and the medicine behind PE. When a PE injury is the result of medical negligence or mistakes, we have the knowledge and experience to build a strong case proving the liability of the doctor, hospital or other health care professional responsible for the harm. We know how to advocate strongly in the courtroom while clearly communicating complex legal and medical information to juries.
Immediate Help Available for Pulmonary Embolism Malpractice in Sarasota/Bradenton and Orlando
If you suffered serious injury from a pulmonary embolism, or if you lost a loved one to a misdiagnosed or undiagnosed PE, contact The Nurse Attorney, P.A. in Sarasota/Bradenton for a free consultation regarding any potential claims you may have against a hospital or medical professional.