Pulmonary Embolism Lawyers Pittsburgh, PA
PA Medical Malpractice Attorneys Handling Cases of Failure to Diagnose Pulmonary Embolism in Pittsburgh and Throughout Western Pennsylvania
Pulmonary embolisms usually occur when a blood clot blocks an artery in the lungs after moving from another part of the body. Other causes of pulmonary embolisms include bits of tumors, air bubbles in the blood, and fat from the marrow of a broken bone. Whatever the cause, failure to diagnose and treat a pulmonary embolism quickly can lead to death. Unfortunately, failing to diagnose a pulmonary embolism occurs more frequently than anyone would like. Some of the symptoms of a pulmonary embolism are similar to those caused by a respiratory infection—cough and difficulty breathing.
Learn How Our Allegheny County Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help After a Pulmonary Embolism
If you or a loved one experienced a pulmonary embolism and suffered further injury or illness because a medical provider failed to diagnose it, you may be eligible for compensation. At the Pittsburgh law firm of Berger & Lagnese, LLC, our medical malpractice lawyers have won millions of dollars for clients injured because of a medical provider’s negligence, including negligence causing a pulmonary embolism. Find out how we can help you, too. Call today for a free consultation about your pulmonary embolism case.
Problems Associated with Emergency Surgery for Pulmonary Embolisms
The blood clots that cause pulmonary embolisms are relatively easy to treat with blood thinners when they are identified in time. Unfortunately, failure to diagnose the condition early can lead to emergency surgery to remove the clot from the lungs. Having to undergo emergency surgery exposes the patient to even more risks—anesthesia problems, surgical mistakes, and additional blood clots. It is far better to find a clot before it becomes a pulmonary embolism.
Why Pulmonary Embolisms Go Undiagnosed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
In addition to being mistaken for respiratory illnesses, pulmonary embolisms are misdiagnosed because a physician failed to follow the differential diagnosis process. When this occurs, a doctor can easily jump to conclusions without ordering tests to confirm or deny the diagnosis. Moreover, even if a provider used the differential diagnosis process, not including pulmonary embolism as a possible explanation for the patient’s symptoms means that the doctor will not be able to identify the problem. It also means that he or she will not order appropriate treatment or request a pulmonary angiogram.
Symptoms of a Pulmonary Embolism
Although the symptoms of a respiratory infection can mimic those of a pulmonary embolism, people experiencing this serious medical condition may also present with:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Leg pain or swelling
- Clammy skin
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
People with these symptoms may believe they are having a heart attack, suffering from the flu, or experiencing a severe anxiety attack. It is up to the doctor to order the correct tests to rule out such conditions.
Tests That Pittsburgh Physicians Can Use to Rule Out Pulmonary Embolisms
In addition to ordering a pulmonary angiogram, doctors should consider ordering other tests to diagnose pulmonary embolism. These include:
- D-dimer that tests for blood protein indicative of a blood clot.
- CT-PA, a scan of the pulmonary arteries.
- V/Q scan, which examines airflow and blood flow in the lungs.
- Lower extremity venous ultrasound that looks for clots in the legs.
Pennsylvania doctors who do not order tests such as these for a patient who later presents with an unmistakable pulmonary embolism may have committed medical malpractice and could be found liable for the patient’s damages and losses.
Call the Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Berger & Lagnese, LLC After a Pulmonary Embolism Causes Injury
If you were injured or a loved one died because of an undiagnosed pulmonary embolism, you may be eligible for compensation. Our Pittsburgh law firm has a more than 40-year history of obtaining maximum compensation for victims of medical malpractice in Pennsylvania, including those who suffered because of a misdiagnosed pulmonary embolism. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights and legal options. Our Western PA law firm charges no attorney’s fees unless we win your case, so do not delay.