It is estimated that up to 100,000 people in the U.S. die annually as a result of pulmonary embolisms and that as many as one in three of these patients were misdiagnosed and therefore improperly treated. If you or someone you love has suffered a pulmonary embolism (PE) and been misdiagnosed due to the negligence of the attending doctor, you need more than an excellent physician. You require the committed services of a personal injury attorney who has extensive experience with medical malpractice. In New Jersey, Nagel Rice LLP is the place to call.
Though many people survive pulmonary embolisms, a third experience ongoing symptoms, such as shortness of breath, and have a shortened lifespan when they recover. As a victim of medical malpractice, whether you have been injured or tragically lost a loved one, you need the sharp skills and strong representation of our knowledgeable attorneys.
Our practice has an impressive track record, having won over $1 billion in settlements and verdicts. Contact us now for a free consultation to find that our reputation for compassionate, efficient service is well-deserved. We work on a contingency basis so you will be charged no attorneys’ fees until we bring you meaningful compensation.
What Is a Pulmonary Embolism?
A pulmonary embolism (PE) occurs when a blood clot, most often formed in a deep vein in the leg, travels to the lung and becomes lodged in a pulmonary artery. This blockage typically leads to severe respiratory distress, chest pain, and, in some cases, death. That’s why rapid, accurate diagnosis is so critical.
Symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism
Doctors diagnosing patients with possible pulmonary embolisms must be cautious and thorough since PE symptoms, listed below, are common to many other conditions:
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid breathing
- Sudden and sharp chest pain
- Rapid or irregular pulse
- Immediate onset coughing, at times with bloody mucus
- Very low blood pressure
- Shoulder pain
- Headache or dizziness
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- Excessive sweating
- Pain/ swelling in the back of the lower leg
- Clammy or discolored skin (cyanosis)
How a Pulmonary Embolism Is Diagnosed
Depending on the particular patient’s symptoms, age, medical history, and present condition (e.g. postsurgical, pregnant), healthcare providers will choose among several diagnostic options, including:
- D-Dimer test of the blood’s clotting level
- Chest X-ray
- CT pulmonary angiogram
- Ventilation-perfusion (V/Q) scan
How a Pulmonary Embolism Is Misdiagnosed
Unfortunately, because PE symptoms mimic those of other, often less severe, medical conditions, patients with pulmonary embolisms are too often given incorrect diagnoses of:
- Anxiety or panic attacks, either of which may manifest with rapid heart rate, chest pain, shortness of breath, and a feeling of imminent doom
- Asthma with its severe breathing difficulties
- Costochondritis, which causes chest pain since it involves inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone
- Pneumonia or bronchitis, either of which can present with chest pain, fever, and difficulty breathing
- Pulled muscle or ligament of the arm or shoulder since a sudden injury can also
- result in intense pain accompanied by breathlessness, rapid pulse, and sweating
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) because it can cause chest pressure, shortness of breath
- Heart attack, which can result in chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, arm or shoulder pain, lightheadedness
- Heart failure, which can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, extreme weakness,
- bloody cough, rapid/irregular heartbeat, swelling in the leg
- Pleurisy which presents with deep chest pain
Every healthcare professional must keep PEs in mind while considering these other conditions as possible diagnoses since the consequences of misdiagnosis may be grave.
When Does a Mistake Become Malpractice in New Jersey?
Not every medical mistake qualifies as malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to meet the accepted standard of care in their discipline, and that failure leads to harm and financial losses.
How Nagel Rice Attorneys Fight Vigorously to Win You Damages
You can depend on our medical malpractice lawyers to investigate your claim by reviewing every pertinent medical report, identifying and interviewing all relevant witnesses, and seeking out medical experts in related fields who can offer valuable testimony to bolster your cause. Although most medical malpractice cases are resolved through negotiated settlement, our attorneys always prepare for trial, making their arguments as airtight as possible. Like you, we are focused on recovering maximum compensation for your:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Lost income, present and future
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability
- Extended nursing care
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death
At Nagel Rice, we realize that though we put “wrongful death” on this list, there is no possible monetary compensation for a life. Nonetheless, if you have lost a close family member, we will do everything in our power to bring you the funds you need to pay final medical costs, funeral/burial/cremation expenses, to replace lost financial support, and to provide you with some semblance of justice for your loss of companionship.
Contact Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today
Our legal team is here to support you through your terrible ordeal. We have been in practice long enough to know that you deserve deep empathy as well as effective counsel. Get in touch with us now so we can begin providing both.