Reasons why Pulmonary Embolisms are Misdiagnosed: Oregon Medical Malpractice

Misdiagnosed Pulmonary Embolism: Reasons Why it Could be Oregon Medical Malpractice


A blood clot in the lungs is called a pulmonary embolism, and it is a life-threatening emergency which must be quickly treated to prevent serious damage to a patient’s body or wrongful death.  Pulmonary embolisms, or PE, are more common than you may believe.  According to the CDC, there are approximately 900,000 Americans who suffer from a PE each year.  This results in the death of approximately 60,000 to 100,000 Americans.  Of the people who survive, approximately 50% suffer from some type of long-term complication.  The longer that it takes for treatment, the more likely that a patient will die or have long-term complications.  Thus, delays in treatment could be Oregon medical malpractice, and victims in Central Oregon could be harmed by reckless, careless, or negligent conduct of a healthcare professional.


Reasons Why a Pulmonary Embolism is Frequently Misdiagnosed by a Healthcare Provider


A pulmonary embolism cannot be misdiagnosed if a patient wants to survive the medical emergency, especially without complications.  Healthcare providers must quickly identify the serious symptoms and begin treatment immediately.  Some common symptoms of a PE include the following:


  • Shortness of breath (unexplained);
  • Rapid breathing (unexplained);
  • Sudden and sharp chest pain, like a heart attack;
  • Rapid heart rate for no reason;
  • Immediate onset coughing, and coughing up blood;
  • Very low blood pressure;
  • Shoulder or scapula pain;
  • Headache or dizziness, or
  • Many other symptoms.


But the symptoms of a PE usually mirror some other serious conditions. This is why healthcare providers sometime treat for a heart attack first, because many of the symptoms are like a heart attack.  But when an EKG comes back normal, and there is no evidence of a heart attack, medical providers must continue to test for the ailment.


Unfortunately, sometimes they do not.  They will release a patient from the hospital on the grounds that it could be muscular chest pain, acid reflux, or some other gastric upset.  But without testing for a PE, healthcare providers are giving patients a death sentence.  This means that patients could be permanently injured or wrongfully killed by failing to test for a PE.  This is Oregon medical malpractice.


And the test?  It can be as simple as a blood test!  That victims in Central Oregon, Portland, Bend, and Deschutes County could be seriously injured due to the failure to perform a basic blood test.  This burden is so long and the risk of serious injury is so high, that the healthcare providers should just perform the blood test to check a patient’s clotting score (this is done through a D-dimer test).  Once there is the possibility of a blood clot, patients should undergo imaging tests to identify a clot and confirm it is a PE.


When Healthcare Provider’s Misdiagnose a Pulmonary Embolism, it is Very Serious Oregon Medical Malpractice


The main reasons why a PE is misdiagnosed is because healthcare providers fail to recognize the signs of a PE.  Other reasons include that healthcare providers mistake the symptoms of a PE for other serious health conditions like a heart attack.  Once a heart attack is ruled out, healthcare providers do not continue to test a patient but rather discharge the patient.  These are serious mistakes when a patient is discharged with a PE.


If you or a loved one had a PE which was delayed in diagnosed or misdiagnosed, call our Oregon medical malpractice lawyer to learn howe we can help you.  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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