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Medical Negligence
Pulmonary Embolism Negligence

Pulmonary Embolism Negligence

If you or your loved one has suffered complications because of an undiagnosed pulmonary embolism, you may have grounds for a medical negligence compensation claim.

What is a pulmonary embolism?

A pulmonary embolism is when a blood clot becomes dislodged and travels in the bloodstream to the lungs where it becomes stuck in one of the blood vessels. It is usually a complication of deep vein thrombosis, whereby a clot develops in one of the body's deep veins, ordinarily in the legs. A pulmonary embolism is a very serious condition, as having a blocked blood vessel in the lungs will ultimately prove fatal, if treatment is not given.

Failure to prevent and treat a pulmonary embolism

If someone is admitted to hospital, steps can be taken by medical professionals to actively reduce the risk of a pulmonary embolism occurring. Upon admission, patients should be assessed to see whether or not they are at risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (and in turn a pulmonary embolism).

If a patient is considered to be at risk, anticoagulant medication should be administered and compression stockings. If medical practitioners fail to take these steps and a patient does suffer a pulmonary embolism while in hospital, the standard of care will have fallen to an unacceptable level.

On the other hand, if a patient is not in a healthcare environment, medical professionals will not necessarily be responsible for preventing a pulmonary embolism. They will, however, be responsible for making a timely diagnosis of the condition.

For example, if a patient presents with symptoms such as breathlessness and chest pain, doctors should immediately suspect a diagnosis of a pulmonary embolism. This is especially true if the individual in question has factors that would increase the risk of a blood clot. This includes old age, obesity, smoking, pregnancy, poor mobility, cancer, genetic conditions and a recent history of abdominal surgery.

Should medical professionals fail to suspect a pulmonary embolism based upon a patient's symptoms, and/or fail to carry out further tests, there will be a substandard level of care. If a patient consequently suffers complications because of a pulmonary embolism, the medical team will be held accountable.

Claiming compensation for a pulmonary embolism

If not prevented and/or treated in a timely fashion, a pulmonary embolism can result in terrible complications and can even be fatal. If this is something to have affected you or your loved one, you should speak to a medical negligence solicitor about the treatment you received, as you could be entitled to claim compensation.

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