How a Pulmonary Embolism can Kill You: Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Why a Pulmonary Embolism Can Cause Wrongful Death: Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyer Explains


According to the CDC, approximately 25% of pulmonary embolisms (PE) cause only one symptom: sudden death.  Another 10 to 30% of PE victims will die within the first month, and as many as 100,000 Americans die every year from a PE.  This highlights how dangerous these medications are and why they can result in very serious injuries to patients.  This means that healthcare professionals, particularly emergency room physicians and emergency room nurses, need to know the warning signs of a PE and how to immediately treat them.  Failure to do so could result in the wrongful death of a patient, and it could be Oregon medical malpractice which effects families in Portland, Deschutes County, Bend, Salem, and the rest of Central Oregon.


Where do Pulmonary Embolisms Come From?


A pulmonary embolism typically comes from the legs.  This is because blood clots from the legs, commonly from a condition known as deep vein thrombosis, break off and travel to the lungs first.  These clots are naturally occurring, and are actually helpful because they can stop bleeding when you have a cut or are injured.  However, sometimes these clots down inside your body and where there is no wound or cut that needs to stop bleeding.  This means a clot forms where it should not be.  This is why some patients, particularly elderly patients, where compression sleeves on their legs or other pressure socks which helps to keep clots from forming in smaller vessels or veins, in addition to keeping blood pressure up which prevents stagnant blood.  This is also why airlines suggest you get up to move and walk around on long flights, which breaks up the blood clot.


Why are Pulmonary Embolisms Fatal?


It may not sound like a blood clot should be fatal.  After all, many people survive heart attacks and strokes which are blood clots, and some people even live through life with just one lung.  But just like how some strokes and heart attacks can also be fatal, a PE can too.  This is because a blood clot immediately stops the flow of blood.  Not only does this restriction oxygen to that area, but is causes immense pressure back on the heart.  This immense pressure causes the heart to seize or fail when it cannot push back on the blood clot.


Think of it as a hydraulic press, and when you have pushed the hydraulic press to the furtherest post against the fluid in there and cannot push any further, it won’t move.  The same thing happens to the heart when there is a blood clot and it cannot push anymore fluid (blood) to the clot (the furtherest point of the press).  This causes the heart to stop.


More specifically, this usually causes the right ventricle of the heart to seize.  This is because the right ventricle is not used to such strain or pressure on it, and the amount of sudden increase from a blood clot will cause the right ventricle to immediately fail.  Otherwise the right ventricle may still be able to function, but heart failure may occur because the pressure and stress is simply too great on the heart for it to continue going.


Healthcare Providers Who Fail to Treat a Pulmonary Embolism Quickly, are Risking Wrongful Death


The statistics noted above demonstrate that a pulmonary embolism is suddenly fatal 25% of the time.  But another 10-30% of people will perish in the first month.  Some of these people go to the hospital with symptoms and never leave—after only a few hours or days of symptoms.  This is because healthcare providers do not always diagnose a PE quickly enough.  The longer that the blood clot exists in the lungs, the more damage that is occurring to the lungs and the more stress (and damage) to the heart.  Emergency room doctors and nurses usually say “time is tissue,” and the more time the heart is blocked by a blood clot, the more likely that a patient will die from a PE.


If you have suffered serious complications and injuries after a PE, or if a loved one died after being brought to a hospital from a PE, call our pulmonary embolism PE Oregon medical malpractice lawyer to learn what your rights to compensation may be.  We handle cases throughout Oregon and Central Oregon, including Deschutes County, Redmond, Sisters, La Pine, Madras, Prineville, The Dalles, Hood River, Clackamas, Corvallis, Albany, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tigard, Salem, Portland, Hillsboro, Vancouver, Washington, Beaverton, Oregon City, Eugene, Coos Bay, Astoria, Newport, Pendleton, Tillamook,  Milwaukie, Gresham, Hillsboro, Medford, and any other city, including Bend, Oregon where our main law office is located, please call Kuhlman Law, LLC by dialing (541) 385-1999 to learn what your rights to compensation you may have.  You may also contact us using our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation to get you the answers you deserve, all for free.  There is no risk, and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.

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