Pulmonary embolism is a very serious medical condition caused by blood clots. Clots form in parts of the body, like the legs, and when broken off create a sudden blockage in major lung arteries. The condition can cause lifelong damage, and if a clot is large enough it can kill the victim very quickly, sometimes instantly.
In the United States, over 300,000 people each year have a pulmonary embolism, or deep vein thrombosis, and more than 60,000 of these cases are fatal. Most fatalities happen a short 30 to 60 minutes after symptoms begin. Many of these deaths occur due to the failure to properly diagnose the condition in a timely manner, or take preventative measures post-surgery to prevent blood clots from forming.
Pulmonary embolism is one of the most common causes of death in hospitalized people who are immobile and bedridden for an extended period of time. During periods of recovery, whether from surgery or injury, patients can experience blood-pooling which can lead to dangerous clots. In these types of situations, proper standards of medical care suggest that the doctor should recognize the potential for blood clots and prescribe patients anticoagulant medication for prevention.
Because of the swiftness in which symptoms appear and begin to affect the patient, doctors are required to treat a pulmonary embolism as a medical emergency. The failure to properly diagnose and treat pulmonary embolism, or to recognize the potential for blood clotting, is a leading cause of wrongful death in the United States. Many of these wrongful death cases are based on a doctor's negligence, including the failure to order necessary diagnostic tests, follow proper diagnostic protocols, and recognize the possibility of pulmonary embolism based on the patient's symptoms, risk factors and other health conditions.
If a loved one has died from a preventable pulmonary embolism, you have the right to seek compensation for the physical and emotional losses you’ve suffered. A personal injury attorney can act on your behalf during this difficult time to determine proper course of action. The attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff have the experience and knowledge necessary to represent medical malpractice and wrongful death cases related to a pulmonary embolism.
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