Blood Clot Injury Attorneys in Denver
They are the third most common cardiovascular killer in the United States, and the top cause of death and disability to patients in hospitals. Blood clots that form in the veins, called venous clots or venous thromboembolism (VTE), claim at least 100,000 lives each year.
Doctors do not diagnose this life-threatening complication often enough or early enough, and this needs to change.
The top trial lawyers at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. love to tackle complex medical issues. In our firm’s forty-year history, we’ve gotten historic verdicts and made huge gains for the public safety. We demand justice for people injured by the healthcare system, so if you or a loved one suffered serious injury due to a blood clot, do not hesitate to contact us at (877) 433-3906.
Triggered by cuts, bruises, medications, and other insults to the body, platelets in the blood concentrate blood cells together, turning from a liquid into a flexible semisolid to patch the wounded area. The technical term for a clot is thromboembolism. They are normally broken down by the body, but sometimes, clots can detach and float through the blood stream. When they reach a point in the vessels where they obstruct blood flow, they starve these parts of the body of oxygen.
Here are basic types of blood clots, with some overlap:
- Arterial thromboembolism: A clot that forms in an artery. Arterial clots are felt almost immediately, with severe pain and tenderness in the area of the clot, and potential paralysis. These clots are medical emergencies because they quickly lead to heart attack or stroke.
- Venous thromboembolism (VTE): A clot that forms in a vein. Though they take longer to form, venous clots may lead to pulmonary embolism and other dangerous conditions. The symptoms vary depending on where the clot is formed, but include shortness of breath (SOB), lightheadedness, chest pain, vomiting blood, swelling, pain, and tenderness. If a clot travels to the brain, causing an ischemic stroke, the patient often gets a sudden severe headache, has difficulty communicating, and has visual disruptions.
- Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT): Though DVT usually forms within the legs or pelvis, it can form in any of the deep veins of the body: in the arms, abdomen, lungs, or brain. DVTs and pulmonary embolisms are the most common blood clots seen in hospitals.
- Pulmonary embolism (PE): When a clot forms in the lungs or travels to block a blood vessel in the lungs. Nearly 25% of pulmonary embolisms are fatal, and if the patient does survive, he or she will be at elevated risk of another PE.
Generally, thromboembolisms take a few days to weeks to develop and travel, and there are known risks associated with their formation.
A 2018 study published in JAMA Surgery found that red-blood-cell (RBC) transfusions prior to surgery are associated with the development of clots afterward. In fact, having surgery at all brings a heightened risk, since surgical patients are under anesthesia and not moving for hours at a time.
Physicians are responsible for preventing clots whenever possible, diagnosing them, and treating them immediately to avoid further damage. Long-term complications are common after a blood clot. We often see:
- Embolic stroke
- Heart attack
- Kidney failure
- Catastrophic tissue damage
- Birth injury
Since clots can form in pregnancy, especially in the lower legs and pelvis, they carry the risk of pulmonary embolism, as well as premature labor, death of the fetus, and death of the mother.
Medscape notes, “Hospital-associated blood clots account for 5% to 10% of all hospital deaths. With proactive management, research suggests that up to 70% of them may be preventable.” In short: medical facilities are not doing nearly enough. There are serial compression devices that can be placed over the extremities during surgery, to promote blood flow. There are blood-thinning, anti-coagulant drugs that can be prescribed to prevent the formation of clots.
Meanwhile, doctors can do more to diagnose clots. To be blunt, when any collection of the above symptoms are present in a patient, it is the first duty of the attending doctor to rule out a life-threatening blood clot before looking at any other diagnosis. They may fail to use Well’s scoring for potential DVTs and PEs, or fail to order a test, or misread an ultrasound.
The bottom line is, if doctors:
- Fail to diagnose a clot in a timely manner
- Fail to treat a clot in a timely and appropriate manner
- Fail to take standard precautions to prevent a clot forming in a patient
And a victim suffers serious harm, he or she may have suffered medical malpractice. To explore your own situation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney, call (877) 433-3906. Leventhal Puga & Braley P.C. has handled hundreds of similar cases across the United States in over forty years of practice. We take care of our clients, and we’d like to take care of you.