What Happens if a Doctor Fails to Diagnose my Pulmonary Embolism

Doctors that Fail to Diagnose a Pulmonary Embolism Could Cause Serious Personal Injury or Wrongful Death


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 900,000 Americans may be affected by a pulmonary embolism each year and up to 100,000 of them will die.  About one-third (33%) of all Americans who have had a pulmonary embolism will have another one.  Approximately half of all pulmonary embolism victims will have long-term complications in the limb where the pulmonary embolism originated from as a deep vein thrombosis.  These statistics demonstrate how important it is for a medical professional to diagnose your pulmonary embolism (PE) correctly the first time.  When they fail to diagnose your PE, it could be Oregon medical malpractice and lead to serious personal injuries or wrongful death.


Reasons Why a Failure to Diagnose a Pulmonary Embolism Occurs


When a healthcare provider fails to diagnose a pulmonary embolism in an emergency department, it could result in very serious personal injuries and even wrongful death.  This is because the blood clot can block oxygen to the lungs due to the size of the clot.  This is commonly because the blood clot will originate in the legs as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which could break free and travel in the blood stream.  


The blood from the legs goes to the heart then lungs.  The lungs have very small blood vessels which can trap a blood clot in them.  If this blood clot from the legs and DVT is big enough, it will get caught in the lung’s smaller vessels and stop all blood flow to the lungs which will result in death.  Other times blood clots will only lodge in one side of the lungs or smaller parts of the lungs and cause serious injury.  The longer that the clot exists, the more damage that it does.


What Happens When a Pulmonary Embolism is Not Diagnosed


The longer that a PE is allowed to block a portion of the blood flow in the lungs, the longer that damage is being done to the lungs and other parts of the body.  In medicine the terminology is “time is tissue.”  This is because the lungs oxygenate the blood and send it off to the rest of the body.  When the other parts of the body are not getting oxygenated blood, they will become damaged.


Another risk of a PE that is not diagnosed immediately is that another blood clot could break off and stack up behind this clot.  This would cause catastrophic damage to the body and really result in significant injury if not outright death.  This is because DVP thrombosis does not happen in a vacuum; if there is one area of DVT, there likely are others in the legs.  This could be potentially fatal and very deadly when a blood clot is allowed to sit in the lungs when another could be coming.


Even if the blood clot does not cause immediate death, a blood clot that is in the lungs is in at least some part causing an oxygen deprivation to some part of the body.  This is why a common symptom is short-breathed even though the patient is not exerting himself or herself.  The longer that the body has this type of deprivation, the longer that damage will continue.


Victims Who Had a Doctor Fail to Diagnose a Pulmonary Embolism May Have an Oregon Medical Malpractice Claim


A pulmonary embolism or PE must be treated quickly and effectively.  The longer that a PE is delayed in diagnosis, the longer that the damage will continue to harm a patient.  Time is tissue, and the more time in between the PE and the treatment, the more tissue that is damaged.  If you believe your PE was misdiagnosed or delayed in diagnosis, call our Central Oregon medical malpractice lawyer to learn your rights.


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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