A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blood clot in the lungs. Many clots start in the arms or legs and can travel to other parts of the body. Left untreated, this condition can result in permanent lung damage and even death. Every doctor and physician in Michigan has a duty to provide competent care to their patients. This includes family doctors, nurses, and emergency personnel.
If you or a loved one was the victim of an untreated pulmonary embolism, call Buckfire Law to pursue your case. Our attorneys have experience handling claims against medical providers. We can explain your rights, discuss your options, and work to recover full and fair compensation for your losses.
- Pulmonary embolism risk factors
- Pulmonary embolism signs and symptoms
- Proper pulmonary embolism medical care
- Pulmonary embolism medical malpractice lawsuits
- Pulmonary embolism malpractice settlement example
Risk Factors for a Pulmonary Embolism
There are several risk factors for a patient to develop a pulmonary embolism. This includes prolonged bed rest or inactivity (including long trips in planes, cars, or trains) that may cause the development of blood clots. Other risk factors include obesity, advanced age, and surgery lasting more than two hours.
People who have suffered leg injuries or undergone surgery are at increased risk. Also, certain patients are predisposed to developing blood clots and pulmonary embolisms.
Doctors and hospitals must be aware of situations involving high-risk patients. They must also take measures to prevent the development of a pulmonary embolism.
Blood clot prevention methods include tight stockings (commonly called Ted Stockings; to keep blood from pooling in the legs), sequential compression devices (inflatable leg sleeves that keep the blood moving in the legs) while in a hospital bed, and blood thinner medication. These medications include Coumadin, Lovinox, and other blood thinners used to thin out clots.
Some patients must be taken off drugs that put them at higher risk for a blood clot. This includes birth control pills because they can increase the risk for pulmonary embolisms.
Common Signs and Symptoms of a PE
Signs and symptoms of a pulmonary embolism can be fast or gradual. Common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain, many times extending into the arms, legs, neck, and shoulder
- Swollen legs or calf muscles
- Lightheartedness and dizziness
- Rapid heart rate or breathing
- Coughing up or spitting up blood
When a patient describes these to a doctor or nurse and other risk factors exist, the condition should be suspected. Prompt medical attention must be taken to prevent serious harm or death.
Pulmonary Embolisms and Proper Medical Care
A pulmonary embolism is a blockage in a person’s pulmonary arteries. These are usually the result of blood clots that travel from other parts of the body and become lodged in the lungs. However, they can also be the result of clumped fat cells, air bubbles, or pieces of tumors that travel through the cardiovascular system.
A person who experiences this condition needs to seek immediate medical care. Because the blockage prevents essential blood from reaching the lungs, those tissues quickly endure severe damage. A few minutes are all that is necessary to inflict permanent lung damage.
All emergency personnel receives training to quickly diagnose pulmonary embolisms. However, failures to recognize the signs are unfortunately common.
Our Michigan medical malpractice lawyers will evaluate your medical records to determine if you were the victim of medical negligence.
Pulmonary Embolisms and Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Every doctor in Michigan must provide an appropriate level of care to patients. Because most doctors encounter pulmonary embolisms while working in an emergency room, the standard of appropriate care is high. Other patients are either at high risk during a hospital stay or even after discharge from the hospital after surgery.
There are often situations in which a pulmonary embolism can be prevented. In other situations, a pulmonary embolism must be recognized and treated before the patient suffers significant harm or death. These situations may give rise to a pulmonary embolism medical malpractice case if the patient suffers injury or death due to the failure to prevent or treat the condition.
These doctors must recognize the symptoms as described by their patient, order proper diagnostic imaging to locate the clot and prescribe medications to bust the clot. Many patients must be urgently taken to surgery for treatment.
You can sue a doctor or hospital for negligence in treating a pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism lawyer at our firm will determine if you have a case.
To file a lawsuit, you must prove the doctors failed to timely diagnose and treat the condition. You must also prove that earlier treatment would have changed the outcome for the patient. For example, you must prove the patient would not have died if provided proper treatment.
We hire well-respected medical experts to prove everything needed in your case. Our attorneys choose the top experts in the United States for our cases.
Compensation for Pulmonary Embolism Lawsuits
Medical malpractice lawsuits seek settlement payouts for the harm suffered by the patient. This includes pain and suffering, lost income, disability, and medical expenses.
In Michigan, there are damage caps on medical malpractice cases. These are limits to the amount of monetary compensation a patient can be awarded in a case. These limits do not apply to the economic losses suffered by the patient and family. Our attorneys will discuss these limits with you and explain how they apply to your case.
Pulmonary Embolism Wrongful Death Case Study
The case involved a young man transported to the hospital by ambulance for chest pain. A CT scan angiogram confirmed he had an extensive pulmonary embolism.
He was admitted to the ICU under the care of a pulmonologist. He was monitored for the need for tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) but it was not administered.
His oxygen, heart rate, and respiration continued to drop.
He was ultimately given tPA but it was too late. He suffered permanent brain damage.
The family sued the hospital and doctor for medical negligence. The legal and medical issues were hotly contested between the parties. The case settled before trial for $ 1.4 million.
Pulmonary Embolism Wrongful Death Lawsuits
When a patient dies from an untreated or misdiagnosed pulmonary embolism, the family can file a case for wrongful death. These lawsuits demand compensation for the loss of the loved one and economic losses, like a loss of earnings, loss of services, and funeral expenses.
To file a wrongful death lawsuit, a personal representative is appointed by a probate court judge. The personal representative then files the case for the entire family. The other family members can still participate in the case. A judge must ultimately approve the settlement and decides on the shares for each family member if there is no agreement among them.
Our law firm will take care of all the probate court paperwork and pay the expenses to set up the estate. We will then pursue and file the wrongful death case for you.
Get Help from our Michigan Pulmonary Embolism Attorneys
Our top-rated attorneys will get all of your medical records and review them. If you have a case, we will file a lawsuit for you.
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