Blood Clots: A Very Real and Dangerous Health Concern
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) are blood clots in the veins. These blood clots are a very dangerous medical condition but also preventable. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about 900,000 people in the U.S. are affected each year from blood clots and some 60,000-100,000 deaths annually are attributed to blood clots. It is such a public health problem that the U.S. Surgeon General back in 2008, issued a Call to Action to prevent deaths due to VTE.
A common VTE scenario is a clot that originates in someone’s leg, called a Deep Vein Thrombosis or “DVT.” If a clot from that DVT breaks off, it can travel through the blood system into the lungs and cause a Pulmonary Embolism or “PE.” A PE is an emergency medical condition that if not promptly treated, can lead to death.
There are several risk factors for VTE which include age (older than 60), immobility (such as long-term bed rest or a hospital stay), recent injury or surgery, pregnancy, obesity, or family history of DVT or PE. That said, sometimes a person can get a blood clot with none of those risk factors.
Because of the known danger of blood clots, healthcare providers and facilities should screen patients who have those risk factors or test for VTE if a patient has symptoms. Symptoms of a DVT include the following (usually in the lower leg, but sometimes in other areas such as the arms or pelvis): swelling, pain, changes in skin color, and a feeling of warmth. Symptoms of a PE include sudden shortness of breath, chest pain, lightheadedness, fainting, rapid pulse, rapid breathing, and coughing up blood.
At The Pérez Law Firm, we have experience handling blood clot cases. Part of our investigation includes determining whether a healthcare provider missed signs and symptoms of a VTE event, whether a healthcare provider properly assessed someone’s risk for a VTE event and take steps necessary to prevent one, and whether a healthcare facility has proper policies and procedures in place to make sure its patients are adequately screened and assessed for VTE.
If you or a loved one believe you have been seriously injured as a result of a blood clot that was not properly diagnosed or should have been prevented, please contact us for a free consultation.