Pulmonary Embolisms on the Rise? How to Handle a Misdiagnosis
Most people expect to live well into their elderly years and only succumb to death when their body simply gives out. Sadly, we’re jolted into reality every so often when it seems that an otherwise healthy individual simply dies.
It’s an unfortunate fact that many dangerous and potentially deadly medical conditions can go undetected and injure a person, quite literally, in a heartbeat. Pulmonary embolisms are one of the most serious of these conditions, and this makes it vital to fully understand them.
Pulmonary Embolisms: The Basics
Pulmonary embolisms are a very serious medical condition that can easily lead to a person’s death. This condition exists when some substance, such as a blood clot, travels through a person’s bloodstream and ends up blocking their lung’s main artery.
The condition is treatable with anticoagulants, but for those that are not treated, studies have shown a mortality rate of 26 percent.
In recent years there has been an increase of medical malpractice cases. For example, Virginia medical malpractice attorney groups have seen a rise in such catastrophes as they litigate on behalf of their clients.
There are several symptoms of this condition. These symptoms include the sudden onset of rapid breathing, shortness of breath, cheat pain that hurts more when a person is breathing and even the coughing up of blood.
More serious symptoms can include collapsing and blue discoloration of the fingers and lips. In 15 percent of cases where people experience sudden death, pulmonary embolisms are to blame.
There are several risk factors for this condition. These could include injuries related to surgeries or catheterizations. Additionally, hormonal contraceptive medications containing estrogen can increase the risk of developing the condition. Even certain cancers can lead to this deadly issue.
Pulmonary Embolism Misdiagnosis
Sadly, there is the chance that a pulmonary embolism could be misdiagnosed. Some misdiagnoses are caused when doctors fail to do additional tests, which may be common in the medical field, simply because one test came back negative.
Additionally, some emergency room doctors may use inefficient criteria to rule out a pulmonary embolism. Tragically, a misdiagnosis of this magnitude can lead to detrimental consequences.
As mentioned earlier, pulmonary embolisms can lead to sudden death, so when they’re left untreated in instances where sudden death hasn’t occurred, it’s unlikely that the prognosis will turn out well.
What to do if Misdiagnosed
As mentioned earlier, 26 percent of pulmonary embolism patients that go untreated will die. Additionally, not catching this condition can lead to further thromboembolic (blockage) episodes.
If it’s discovered that this misdiagnosis has occurred, it’s important to get in contact with an attorney. Pulmonary embolism misdiagnoses are often detrimental and can lead to serious financial troubles for those experiencing them and their families.
Sadly, a misdiagnosis of this condition can lead to the necessity of more extensive medical care, and even worse, the prognosis can sometimes be even more disastrous.
A doctor who fails to catch this condition may likely have been negligent in having done so. If this is the case, an individual or their family can be reimbursed for things such as medical bills, lost wages, funeral costs and even pain and suffering.
Pulmonary embolisms are a leading cause of sudden death, and this should be enough for people to take the condition seriously. Unfortunately, a patient could know something is wrong but still be given the wrong treatment if their physician doesn’t take note of the symptoms.
In this event, a malpractice lawyer will be able to determine whether there is vicarious liability or hospital negligence. Vicarious liability is when a hospital employee is responsible for the injury of another. However, hospital negligence is when the corporation, itself, is liable or responsible for the injury of another. This information is very important to establish a viable case.
Seeking immediate medical and legal help in these situations is essential. Without it, a patient or their family could be left with years of medical bills and sometimes even substantial end of life costs.
Jamica Bell is a freelance writer and blogger with experience in pulmonary embolism. She contributes this article to highlight the dangers of this condition. Virginia medical malpractice attorney group Price Benowitz LLP is dedicated to defending victims of medical malpractice. Their years of experience and vast knowledge has awarded resolve and peace of mind to many victims of pulmonary embolism.
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