Deep Vein Thrombosis / Pulmonary Embolism Medical Malpractice Cases

A deep vein thrombosis or DVT is a blood clot that forms in a vein, often in the leg. This condition can be deadly if the blood clot breaks off and travels to the lungs or heart. When the blood clot travels to the lungs and blocks the flow of blood, it is called a pulmonary embolism or PE and it is potentially deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 60,000 to 100,000 Americans die every year from a PE. The key to preventing a fatal PE is the timely diagnoses and proper treatment of DVT. The Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Kroot Law, LLC, have prosecuted DVT and PE cases, including those involving death.

Diagnosis Of DVT

Because of the risk that a DVT can break away and result in a fatal PE, arriving at a timely and accurate diagnosis is critical to the patient’s safety. The classic signs and symptoms of a DVT include swelling, pain and reddening of the skin of the lower leg. However, not all these signs and symptoms must be present for a DVT to exist. In considering the possibility of DVT, doctors look at whether the patient has certain risk factors for DVT. Key risk factors for DVT include, but are not limited to, recent surgery, prolonged immobilization, obesity, lower leg trauma, contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, and pregnancy or recent pregnancy. Another key consideration is the patient’s history. In evaluating the possibility of DVT, a careful physician will inquire extensively into any prior DVT diagnosis, family history of DVT, when any potential signs and symptoms of a DVT began, in addition to an assessment of the patient’s risk factors for DVT.

In addition to taking a proper history, physicians evaluating the possibility of DVT will conduct a thorough physical examination of the patient. This typically includes palpating or feeling both legs for any abnormalities, observing for signs of any unusual redness or swelling, and inquiring whether the patient feels any pain during the examination. However, the presence or absence of pain is not conclusive. If a DVT is suspected, an ultrasound is the most common test ordered to accurately diagnose a DVT.

Treatment For DVT And Preventing PE

Assuming a DVT diagnosis is made, the primary objective is to immediately stop the clot from growing, prevent the clot from breaking off into a PE, and reduce the risk DVTs developing in the future. The treatment for the vast majority of patients with a DVT is timely anticoagulation or blood thinning medication such as heparin. For this therapy to be effective, it must be given in a timely and therapeutic dosage. In certain situations such as where the patient is considered at high risk for a PE, an inferior vena cava filter may be placed. This device catches the clot before it reaches the lung or heart. When indicated, these filters can be highly effective in preventing a fatal PE.

Contacting A Medical Malpractice Lawyer For DVT / PE Case

DVT cases that lead to a PE can be devastating to the victim and family members left behind. If medical malpractice is suspected, it is critically to consult a malpractice lawyer that has the knowledge, skill and dedication to effectively prosecute DVT / PE cases. For further information on a potential claim, we invite you to contact the Chicago firm of Kroot Law, LLC for a free consultation.

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