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 & Buckfire, P.C. 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.
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. People who have suffered leg injuries or undergone surgery are at increased risk. Certain patients are predisposed to developing blood clots and pulmonary embolisms and doctors and hospitals must be aware of those situations.
When a patient has certain risk factors, such as certain medical conditions like obesity, advanced age, surgery lasting more than two hours, etc., the doctors and nurses must take preventive 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, like 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 receive training to quickly diagnose pulmonary embolisms. However, failures to recognize the signs are unfortunately common. Our Michigan lawyer will evaluate your medical records to determine if you or someone you care about was 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 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 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.
To file a pulmonary embolism lawsuit, it must be proven that 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, such as a patient would not have died if provided necessary drugs earlier in the process.
Compensation for Pulmonary Embolism Lawsuits
Medical malpractice lawsuits seek compensation 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 money compensation that 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 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 to bring the case for the entire family. Our law firm will take care of all the probate court paperwork and pay all of 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. We will also discuss your treatment with a medical expert witness to see if you have a claim. If you have a case, we will file a lawsuit for you.
Contact us today for your free case review. There are no legal fees unless you receive a settlement check and we pay all of the case expenses.
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