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Slater & Norris, P.L.C. Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Central Iowa
Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Central Iowa

A pulmonary embolism misdiagnosis doesn’t take long to settle in

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You can attribute breathing difficulties to several diseases and conditions. Even if you were to combine it with massive chest pain and excessive coughing, it can be difficult to narrow it down. At this point, people recommend someone that has these symptoms to go to the doctor to determine what they have. They might hear that it could be an asthma attack, bronchitis or maybe a case of pneumonia. The doctor prescribes them to some medications and tells them to rest easy before sending them home.

Unfortunately, that person might find it difficult to heal. In fact, they feel their chest pain is getting worse and it is getting harder to breathe. Several instances like these occur to many Iowans because the doctor misdiagnosed their condition. According to the AARP, pulmonary embolism is one of the most frequently misdiagnosed diseases due to how closely it may resemble other conditions. If the victim is unaware for too long, they heavily risk suffering further from this devastating sickness.

What is pulmonary embolism?

This disease occurs when the pulmonary arteries in your longs are blocked by blood clots that traveled from other parts of your body (typically the legs). Aside from the previously mentioned breathing difficulty and chest pain, other symptoms include:

  • Leg pain or swelling
  • Clammy skin
  • Excessive sweating
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness

Aside from poor lifestyle choices, this has a higher chance of occurring if your family has a rough medical history regarding the heart or lungs or you have had other hazardous conditions such as heart diseases and tumors before.

What happens when it’s misdiagnosed?

If your doctor identifies it as a different disease, you may not receive the right treatments and warnings that are crucial for recovery. Hospitals get rid of the clots by prescribing the patient blood thinners and clot dissolvers. However, if the clot is large enough to be life-threatening, surgery might be required to get it out of your body as soon as possible.

The biggest risk towards your body is that blood clots often form during prolonged periods of inactivity. If your doctor believes you are suffering from an asthma attack, they might tell you to rest and take it easy. Despite their advice, you need to get yourself moving and avoid long periods of sitting or lying down to recover from this. The Mayo Clinic even recommends moving as soon as possible after surgery despite the pain to quicken your recovery.

With the wrong medications and advice for healing, it will not take long for the clot to grow big enough to be life-threatening to the victim. If you or a loved one suffered from this type of misdiagnosis, consult your legal options to ensure that you recover financially as well.

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