Failure to Diagnose a Blood Clot

Posted on Jan 13, 2014

A new medical school graduate died last year because the hospital allegedly failed to conduct the proper tests to diagnose an easily treatable and preventable blood clot condition. According to the lawsuit, after the 26-year-old went to the hospital because of a series of headaches and unexplained bruising, the doctors provided pain medications but failed to order a head imaging study, like a CT scan, to check for a life-threatening condition. A couple of days later, the patient suffered a painful death from massive cerebral hemorrhaging, a stroke and irreversible brain damage.

According to the lawsuit, the death could have been prevented if the doctors conducted the appropriate tests to properly diagnose the patient.

Misdiagnosis is one of the most common medical malpractice claims, according to BMJ Open. It can happen as a result of a systems error, like not having a system in place so the physician who orders a test reviews the results and follows up on it. Or, like in this case, it can happen as a result of a rush to judgment, like a physician not considering all the causes of the symptoms.

Luckily, misdiagnosis is preventable. Hospitals can update their technology to improve data collection and organization. Doctors can be trained to keep an open mind and not stick to only one diagnosis. Here is some advice on what you can do to prevent these types of medical malpractice injuries: click here.

 As D.C. medical malpractice lawyers, we’ve handled several malpractice cases against hospitals and HMOs because they did not diagnose and treat a blood clot. It is a common and preventable condition with effective treatment.  But left untreated, blood clots can cause stroke, pulmonary embolism and death.

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