Is Misdiagnosing a Pulmonary Embolism Medical Malpractice in DC?

Is Misdiagnosing a Pulmonary Embolism Medical Malpractice in DC? Well, that depends...

Here's what we've learned representing families who have lost a loved one because of pulmonary embolism.  It's not medical advice, but you can get a sense of what we look for when we investigate a D.C. medical malpractice case.

A pulmonary embolism is a serious, life threatening medical condition that can be avoided. But if it is not diagnosed and treated, it can be fatal.

Many times the embolism (or blood clot) originates in the legs, in the form of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These blood clots in the leg can cause pain, swelling, and redness. The blood clot can then break off and travel up to the lungs, and cause chest pains and shortness of breath. What are the common risks of DVT that may lead to a pulmonary embolism?

One of the risk factors for DVT and pulmonary embolism can be immobility - after a surgery when you’re confined to bed, for example, and you now unable to get up and walk around, you may be at a higher risk of getting DVT. Why? If you're not able to at least walk around or have some mobility in your legs for an extended period of time, it's much harder to allow a healthy level of blood flow to and through your legs. And, if there is no healthy blood flow, in your legs, the blood will start to clot and the clot can start to travel throughout the rest of your body, including your legs. 

There are ways that your doctor or a hospital can test to see if you have DVT that may lead to a pulmonary embolism.

A common screening test for DVT is a sonogram that checks the veins in the leg. Another common screening test is a d-dimer, which is a blood test that helps to determine whether there is a clot or not in your legs.  

Screening and diagnosis is critical because effective treatment is available. 

Determining whether the pulmonary embolism was not diagnosed properly or in time could be the first step in determining whether medical malpractice occurred.  Unfortunately, many times, the cause of death is disputed by the hospital or doctor who did not properly diagnose the pulmonary embolism, so an autopsy is usually important to prove the cause of death.

Remember, not every medical error reaches the level of malpractice. Call us today to see if it does.  

If someone you know had pulmonary embolism that could have been prevented, call us today at 202-393-3320 and you will be able to get a live person on the phone who will answer your questions. Don't put your health on hold, get started today and get the help you need!