Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a very common, yet extremely lethal condition, which occurs when an artery in your lung becomes blocked. Very often, this blockage is caused by one or more blood clots that travel to your lungs from another part of your body. A lot of these clots originate in your legs, but they can also form in arm veins or the right side of your heart.
In most cases, pulmonary embolism is not fatal. Yet, pulmonary embolism is the leading cause of hospital deaths because it goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Failure to diagnose pulmonary embolism can cause serious problems for patients.
Pulmonary embolism is particularly common in patients who have just undergone orthopedic surgery, who are confined to their bed for more than two days. There is high risk for blood clots to develop in the legs. If you or a family member has suffered serious injury or death as a result of pulmonary embolism following surgery in Philadelphia, please call the Pennsylvania pulmonary embolism lawyers at Anapol Schwartz for a free consultation.
The most common signs and symptoms of pulmonary embolism include:
Sudden shortness of breath
Chest pain that feels like a heart attack
Coughing up bloody sputum
Leg-swelling or excessive sweating
Weak pulse, lightheadedness or fever
Pulmonary embolism is most often diagnosed using chest X-rays, lung scans, angiogram, blood tests, ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Pulmonary embolism does not always result in death, but it can be life-threatening especially when your doctor fails to diagnose it. About one-third of people with undiagnosed and untreated pulmonary embolism do not survive, according to studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic. When the condition is diagnosed and treated promptly, however, the number drops dramatically.
When undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, pulmonary embolism can result in major complications such as high blood pressure in your lungs and heart damage. If you or someone you love has been a victim of medical malpractice relating to the failure to diagnose pulmonary embolism, please contact the PA blood clot misdiagnosis attorneys at Law Offices of Anapol Schwartz to find out what your legal rights and options are and if you may be entitled to compensation. We utilize experts from the medical and forensic fields nationwide to analyze doctors’ choices and decisions when it comes to diagnosis and treatment so we can pinpoint the medical negligence in your case and who should be held accountable for it.