Medical Professionals Often Fail to Diagnose Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States, where it is estimated that at least 100,000 Americans die of PE every year. Pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot travels to the lungs, where it gets stuck and blocks blood flow, causing fluid and pressure buildup, damage to lung tissue and, in serious cases, cardiac arrest and sudden death. The blood clots which travel to the lungs to become pulmonary emboli first form in the deep veins within the body, and are called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVTs most typically form in the lower legs.

It is most common for people who are physically restricted to experience DVTs and PEs. When patients are in a cast or physically immobile for any reason, the lack of body movement slows down blood flow, allowing blood to easily clot. Recent surgery also puts individuals at a higher risk. In order to avoid PE after surgery, medical professionals should use compression stockings, pneumatic cuffs (called intermittent pneumatic devices, or IPDs), physical therapy, anticoagulant medication to keep the blood thin, or a combination of these preventive therapies.

Symptoms of pulmonary embolism include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Sharp chest pain
  • Rapid heart rate & breathing
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fainting
  • Heart palpations

Often, by the time these symptoms are present, the patient’s life is in immediate danger and emergency treatment is needed. The period preceding the PE emergency may be the best time to prevent the PE, and involves careful observation of the immobilized or recent surgical patient, including observation of their arms and legs for unusual swelling, discoloration, an arm or leg warm to the touch, and assessment of any complaints of arm or leg pain or cramping.

It is important to know:

  • As many as 900,000 people are impacted by DVT and PE every year.
  • Sudden death is the first symptom of PE in almost 25% of people who have PE
  • One-half of the people who survive DVT and PE will have long term complications

Pulmonary embolism is the most common cause of preventable death in patients hospitalized for surgical procedures. Recent studies have also recognized PE as one of the most frequently missed diagnoses in living patients. Our experienced attorneys fight for individuals who have been negatively impacted by the negligence of others.

If you have had a pulmonary embolism after surgery because a health care professional failed to take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety call The Yost Legal Group at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529) for a free consultation.

The Yost Legal Group – Experienced Attorneys Dedicated to Protecting Your Rights

Study Reveals 210,000 Americans Die Each Year Because of Medical Mistakes

Every year, millions of Americans rely on the skill and experience of surgeons, doctors and medical professionals to perform operations that can save, or at least greatly improve, their lives. Unfortunately, despite the high level of training and dedication exhibited by the majority of medical professionals, accidents do happen.

At The Yost Legal Group, Baltimore Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death law firm, our attorneys are all too familiar with the risks and serious injuries that can result from even the most common and routine surgical procedure.

When patients suffer injuries or complications after undergoing surgery, the results can be catastrophic. Surgical error, wrong diagnosis, post-surgical complications and other types of medical mistakes affect thousands of Americans every year.

One 2013 study conducted by the Journal of Patient Safety estimated that as many as 210,000 Americans are killed every year from medical mistakes in hospitals that could have been prevented.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) ranked medical error as the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind only heart disease and cancer.

These statistics about medical mistakes in the United States are staggering. There is now some research that could provide patients with the information necessary to avoid risky surgical procedures or under-qualified doctors.

A new study from USA Today and the independent journal outlet ProPublica attempts to provide patients with data on how they can lower their odds of suffering complications, revision surgeries or other medical errors during common surgical procedures.

The study, known as the Surgeon Scorecard, examines complication rates associated with eight types of common elective medical procedures. This data is applied to over 16,000 surgeons from across the country, and determines what is known as an “Adjusted Complication Rate.”

This statistic allows patients to independently research the likelihood of suffering post-surgical complications when seeing a specific surgeon, or undergoing a specific procedure. ProPublica and USA Today state that they hope the end result of this effort will be to give patients more control over when, where and with whom their surgeries take place.

By giving patients access to more information, these journals hope that doctors and hospitals will be held to a higher standard of accountability, and rates of medical malpractice and surgical error will drop throughout the country.

Here are a few statistics that reveal how this study was conducted:

  • USA Today and ProPublica took their patient sample from Medicare billing records for in-patient hospital stays between 2009 and 2013.
  • The study examined eight common, elective surgical procedures including knee replacement, hip replacement, gallbladder removal, lumbar spinal fusion, prostate removal, and more.
  • During the course of this study, it was found that between 2009 and 2013, 63,173 Medicare patients were readmitted to hospitals with post-surgical complications.
  • These 63,173 re-hospitalizations cost U.S taxpayers an estimated $645 million.
  • Between 2009 and 2013, 3,405 Medicare patients died during a hospital stay for an elective surgery.

At The Yost Legal Group, we take patient safety and recovery extremely seriously. Our attorneys have years of experience fighting to defend the rights of innocent people who were harmed by all types of Medical Malpractice, including Wrong Diagnosis, Surgical Error, Defective Medications, Defective Medical Devices and more.

Common post-surgical complications can include:

  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Severe Pain
  • Less healing than anticipated
  • Revision surgery

If you or a loved one has been injured by a medical mistake contact The Yost Legal Group. We will speak with you and answer any questions you may have.

Call The Yost Legal Group right away at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529) to receive a confidential and no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced Baltimore Medical Malpractice lawyers.  There is no fee or cost to you unless you receive a settlement or jury award.

If you have been injured through no fault of your own after undergoing a medical procedure, do not delay. Strict time limitations govern when claims must be filed.  Call The Yost Legal Group today. Our lawyers will fight to defend your rights as a victim and provide the answers you seek.

The Yost Legal Group – Experienced Attorneys Dedicated to Protecting Your Rights