Most adults are aware of the dangers of blood clots. This medical condition can impact patients of any age, gender, ethnicity, or race. Doctors should work closely with other hospital staff members to efficiently diagnose and treat blood clots before they can cause serious damage. In addition to identifying clots early, hospitals must also prevent blood clots from forming at any cost. When they fail to properly diagnose and treat a blood clot, it can put a patient at risk of suffering a pulmonary embolism, which can be deadly.
If you or someone you love suffered due to a blood clot misdiagnosis or mistreatment, you deserve full compensation. Our team at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, has fought for families that lost loved ones due to poor medical care and can provide the same strong legal guidance to you. To schedule a free consultation with a New York blood clot misdiagnosis lawyer, contact us at (212) 986-7353.
Blood clots can form within the veins of the arms and legs; this is called deep-vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT has its own unique dangers, one of which is when the clot leaves the leg and continues along the blood vessels into the heart. From there, it can enter the lungs and block the flow of oxygen. This is a pulmonary embolism, which makes it difficult for the patient to breathe and for oxygenated blood to spread throughout the body.
Both DVT and pulmonary embolisms should be diagnosed and treated immediately. DVT on its own can cause extreme pain, swelling, and damage to the veins of the legs or arms, but if it turns into a pulmonary embolism, the patient could die. If a doctor, nurse, or other hospital staff member acts negligently in diagnosing or treating a blood clot, it is medical malpractice.
While anyone can develop a blood clot, there are certain conditions that increase a patient’s chances of developing one. Suffering a serious injury, having surgery, cancer, pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy involving estrogen (for example, birth control pills), being immobile in a bed or wheelchair, smoking, and being overweight all increase the likelihood of having a blood clot. Doctors know this. That’s why they must pay close attention to a patient’s medical history and keep an eye out for blood clots in at-risk patients.
The symptoms for a blood clot can vary depending on where it is located and what stage it is at. For DVT, a patient may experience:
- Swelling in the arms or legs
- Pain or tenderness that are unrelated to an injury
- Redness on the skin
- Red or darkened veins
Doctors can diagnose DVT with a physical exam, a D-dimer blood test, an ultrasound, a venography, and an MRI scan, which may show where the vein has been blocked. Once it is identified, the doctor can treat DVT by using anticoagulants, or blood thinners, to keep the blood clot from growing and allowing it to break down naturally. For serious cases, clot busters, or thrombolytics, can be more effective, but should be used carefully, as there is an increased risk of internal bleeding in the patient. Compression stockings can also help prevent additional clots from forming if a patient is at risk.
With a pulmonary embolism, the symptoms may be more sudden and can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Spitting up blood
- An irregular heartrate
- Excessive sweating
Doctors can use many of the same tests to identify a pulmonary embolism, but if it has reached an advanced stage, they may need to do additional scans to check the lungs, such as with a chest X-ray, CT-scan, a pulmonary angiogram, or V/Q scan. Blood thinners and clot busters can help reduce the size of a blood clot, but surgery may be necessary to quickly remove the clot if it has entered your lung. A vein filter can also prevent pulmonary embolisms if the DVT cannot be broken down.
Most clots are preventable if a doctor carefully reviews a patient’s history, provides proper medication and guidelines to keep them from developing, and follows up on test results. Doctors should also follow the proper procedures when a patient presents with symptoms of DVT or a pulmonary embolism. Unfortunately, if a doctor orders the wrong tests, misreads the symptoms, or provides the wrong treatment, the patient can die.
Doctors and hospital staff have a duty to provide the best care possible for patients, especially if they are at risk of developing blood clots. Standard procedure is to check for DVT when a patient is immobilized or has been hospitalized. If a patient shows signs of suffering from a pulmonary embolism, doctors should take the symptoms seriously and act immediately. Any delay in treatment or misdiagnosis can be deadly.
If your blood clot wasn’t diagnosed in time, or you developed it while hospitalized and suffered further injuries, you deserve full compensation for your trauma. These cases often end in death, leaving families heartbroken and buried under medical bills. If this happened to your family, you should reach out to a New York medical malpractice lawyer at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP.
We understand that you do not want to step into a courtroom after a serious injury or the loss of a loved one, but pursuing a medical malpractice claim may be your best option. A medical malpractice claim can help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The negligent doctor or hospital owes you compensation for what you have gone through, and our legal team can fight for you.
We have spent more than 50 years standing up for victims of medical malpractice. We know how to successfully investigate and litigate these cases to get our clients the highest possible award. There is no cost to sitting down with one of our attorneys and discussing your case in a free consultation. When you are ready, call us at (212) 986-7353.
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