This week we had a search on our site about pulmonary embolism from someone looking for information about it. So today's blog is about pulmonary embolism.
What is it?
A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot which finds its way to the lungs. In most cases, the clot breaks free from the leg and travels quickly from there to the lung. Pulmonary embolisms can cause death. In some cases there are warning signs that someone may be at risk for having one.
What are the warning signs?
One of them is pain in the leg often described by doctors as deep flank pain. People who are susceptible to clots are at risk as well as those who have been bed ridden because of illness. In fact, it has been reported in the news that people who sit on long airplane flights without getting up to move around could be at risk. Another time that blood clots can happen is right after surgery.
Patients often complain of trouble breathing or shortness of breath.
How is it diagnosed?
The diagnosis can be made by symptoms such as leg pain and shortness of breath along with blood work which measures the clotting factors in the blood. Special types of x-rays can be used to locate clots.
How is it prevented?
There are a few ways. In some cases, it is caught early enough so that blood thinner medication like Coumadin or Lovenox can be prescribed. If a patient is bedridden due to illness or because of recovering from surgery, special stockings-called compression stockings–can be given to prevent clots in the leg from breaking off.
Surgical procedures can be used. One such procedure is putting in a filter device–almost like a basket–to catch a clot if it breaks off.
If a loved one has died from a preventable pulmonary embolism, could there be a reason to investigate a medical malpractice case?
Yes. We have handled deaths as a result of pulmonary embolisms that could have been prevented. While each case is different, it is the type of case that should be investigated.
If you have a question about pulmonary embolisms, please call us toll free at 1-800-299-HURT. We encourage you to fill out the contact form on this page or on any page on the website.
At Frank Spector Law, if the issue is pulmonary embolism, we can help.