A pulmonary embolism is a blockage that develops in an artery in the lungs. It occurs when a blood clot moves through the blood stream and eventually becomes lodged in an artery. In normal cases, embolisms are easily diagnosed and treated with anti-clotting medicine. However, a recent studies indicate that mismanagement of pulmonary embolism diagnoses is much more common than it should be.
The studies – published in the Annals of Internal Medicine – found that physicians often withhold anti-coagulant treatment of suspected pulmonary embolisms when initial tests rule it out. However, even if initial tests are negative, guidelines call for additional testing or treatment because false negatives are fairly common. One study indicated that 43 percent of pulmonary embolism cases were mismanaged according to these guidelines. Misdiagnosis of a pulmonary embolism led to a six-times-higher risk of a thromboembolic event.
A second study sought to create a new clinical prediction test for risk of pulmonary embolisms in patients. The new test uses new diagnostic criteria to predict those at highest risk. The hope is that doctors will use the test and follow new strict guidelines for diagnoses. Closely following the procedures will help to minimize misdiagnoses of pulmonary embolisms as well as the risk for secondary thromboembolic events.
A Cleveland Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help
If you or someone you love has suffered injury because of a misdiagnosed or mismanaged pulmonary embolism, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney. A medical malpractice lawyer can assess your case and help you receive the compensation you deserve. For more information, contact an attorney today.