Articles Posted in Pulmonary Embolism Malpractice

A Georgia jury has awarded more than $6 million in medical malpractice / wrongful death case on behalf of a husband and his deceased wife’s estate after she developed blood clots and died shortly after undergoing outpatient knee surgery. The woman had knee pain and went to an orthopedic surgeon who ordered an MRI of the knee. That MRI showed something behind the knee which resulted in the the orthopedic surgeon performing outpatient arthroscopic surgery on the woman. The next day, the woman was found dead at home. An autopsy showed that deep venous thromboids had formed at the site of the surgery, and then traveled to the lung causing a pulmonary embolism. Apparently, the orthopedic surgeon ignored several risk factors that should have indicated that blood clotting could be a problem, such as obesity and birth control pills.

As an experienced Baltimore, Maryland medical malpractice lawyer, I have successfully handled a large number of pulmonary embolism malpractice cases. There are clear guidelines from a variety of professional medical organizations, such as the American College of Chest Physicians, which state who should be considered at risk for deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism and what should be done to prevent it. Every patient who is undergoing surgery under anesthesia or who is unable to move around on their own should be evaluated for the risk of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. It is a preventable condition in this day and age. To see some of the cases I have handled, click here.

A Plaintiff recently lost a medical malpractice case in which it was alleged that there was a failure to properly place a patient on anti-coagulants after orthopedic surgery, which caused blood clots to form and kill the patient (pulmonary embolism). Apparently, a 54-year-old former pastor died three weeks after undergoing surgery on his leg. He developed difficulty breathing that day and was taken to a hospital where he died. An autopsy found that his death was caused by a blood clot in his lungs that originated in his leg. The patient claimed in the suit that the doctor should have prescribed medications to reduce the chance of blood clots after the surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. A copy of the article regarding the case can be found here.

I have handled approximately five pulmonary embolism medical malpractice cases in the Baltimore, Maryland / Washington area, and have been highly successful in each one. The standard of care in these cases is very clear. Whenever a patient has certain risk factors, such as certain medical conditions like obesity, advanced age, surgery lasting more then two hours, etc., the surgeon must ensure that certain preventive measures are taken, such as tight stockings (commonly called Ted Stockings; to keep blood from pooling in the legs), sequential compression devices (inflatable leg sleeves that keep the blood moving in the legs), and/or a blood thinner (coumadin, lovinox, etc.).

In one of my million dollar medical malpractice verdicts in a pulmonary embolism case, a woman in her 50’s underwent a gynecological procedure and, after spending a couple of days recuperating in the hospital, went home, where she soon died of a pulmonary embolism. A review of the records revealed that she had the risk factors of relatively advanced aged and surgery of more than two hours, but had not been given a blood thinner and the nursing staff had not fully followed the doctor’s recommendation to use sequential compression devices. Our experts testified that both were violations of the standard of care. The case went to trial in Baltimore County and resulted in a million dollar-plus verdict.

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