The medical malpractice attorneys at our Michigan personal injury law firm handle cases involving the failure to diagnose and treat a pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism is a blockage of an artery to the lungs brought about by a blood clot. A pulmonary embolism may be caused by blood clots in the veins, especially veins in the legs, hips or pelvis.
Pulmonary Embolism Can Lead to Death
Complications from a pulmonary embolism or blood clot are caused by the resulting lack of oxygen in the blood. The most common cause of a pulmonary embolism is a blood clot in the veins of the legs. This condition may clear up on its own, or it may cause severe illness or even death.
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) may precipitate 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.
Whenever a patient has certain risk factors, such as certain medical conditions like obesity, advanced age, surgery lasting more than two hours, etc., the surgeon must ensure that certain preventive measures are taken, such as 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), and/or a blood thinner medication. These medications include Coumadin, Lovinox and other blood thinners used to thin out clots.
Pulmonary Embolisms and Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
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. If a patient dies as a result, this warrants the filing of a Michigan wrongful death lawsuit.