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Pulmonary embolism can be fatal if it is misdiagnosed

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2017 | Wrongful Death

Louisianans who make sure they are on top of their health will understand that there are issues that only a doctor and various testing procedures can catch. If, for example, a person goes to a doctor with pain in a certain area of the body that is not excruciating, he or she might be under the impression that it is not serious. However, when a doctor conducts an examination and does the necessary tests, it is possible that something serious will be found. It can then be treated before it causes injury or even death. But there are times when a doctor will commit a misdiagnosis of a fatal condition. This can happen in medical situations such as a pulmonary embolism. When there is a mistake that led to a death due to a pulmonary embolism, the family left behind should know what to do in the aftermath.

A pulmonary embolism occurs when there is a blockage in one of the pulmonary lungs. A blood clot can move from another part to the body to the lungs and cause damage and death. If it is discovered, it can be treated. A doctor understanding the symptoms is key. The person could experience shortness of breath, have pain in the chest, or a cough with blood in it. Other potential signals include feeling dizzy, sweating excessively, a fever, clamminess, and a rapid heartbeat.

There are ways for a doctor to determine if the person has a pulmonary embolism if he signs are assessed for the dangerous issue that they are. Blood tests, an X-ray, ultrasound, a spiral CT scan, a pulmonary angiogram, or an MRI can be used to look for the clot. Once it is found, the doctor can prescribe medication to treat it. Other strategies include surgically removing the clot or using a catheter to prevent the clot moving to the lungs as it often does with deep vein thrombosis in the legs.

People who have died due to a pulmonary embolism but had gone to the doctor beforehand could have been saved if the medical staff had acted quickly and recognized what the potential problems were and done step-by-step tests to come to a determination and treatment. Unfortunately, there are often mistakes when treating patients and they die when they did not have to. People who have lost a loved one should be aware of the details of a pulmonary embolism and consider a wrongful death case for compensation.

Source: mayoclinic.org, “Pulmonary embolism — Diagnosis; Treatment,” accessed on Sept. 26, 2017


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