Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a serious medical condition where a blood clot, typically starting in the legs, travels to an artery in the lungs causing a blockage. This disruption in blood flow can then have life-threatening consequences if left untreated. Accordingly, understanding the risk factors, prevention methods, and symptoms of PE is crucial for early diagnosis and better outcomes. A doctor’s failure to address the situation early can be a misdiagnosis resulting in medical malpractice. As a result, you may need to consult with the Maryland pulmonary embolism lawyer.

The Culprit: Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

The majority of PEs stem from a condition called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). DVT occurs when blood clots form in the deep veins of the legs, usually due to reduced blood flow or changes in blood composition. Several factors can increase your risk of developing DVT, specifically:

  • Prolonged inactivity: Sitting or lying down for extended periods, such as during long journeys or after surgery, can slow blood flow in the legs.
  • Surgery and hospitalization: Certain procedures, particularly those involving the abdomen or pelvis, and extended hospital stays can elevate DVT risk.
  • Certain medical conditions: Heart disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and blood clotting disorders can especially predispose individuals to DVT.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth: Hormonal changes and pressure on the veins during pregnancy, as well as post-partum complications, can increase DVT risk.
  • Obesity and smoking: These factors contribute to altered blood flow and inflammation, increasing the likelihood of clot formation.
  • Age: The risk of DVT increases with age, particularly over 60 years.
  • Family history: Having a family member with DVT or PE can raise your risk.

Prevention of DVT

Fortunately, many strategies can help prevent DVT and the subsequent risk of PE. These include:

  • Staying active: Regular movement, even simple exercises like walking or leg stretches, promotes healthy blood flow.
  • Wearing compression-stockings: These garments apply gentle pressure to the legs, improving blood circulation and reducing clot formation.
  • Avoiding prolonged sitting: Take frequent breaks to walk and stretch your legs, especially during long journeys or periods of restricted mobility.
  • Staying hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids helps keep blood thin and flowing smoothly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity increases the risk of DVT, so managing weight through healthy diet and exercise is crucial.

The pulmonary embolism lawyer at the Kopec Law Firm can assess whether proper prevention measures were taken in your case.

Warning Signs of DVT

Early detection of DVT is essential to prevent complications like PE. A doctor must appreciate the presence of the following symptoms, especially if there are risk factors present:

  • Swelling, pain, or tenderness in one leg, usually starting in the calf and moving upwards.
  • Warmth or redness of the affected leg.
  • Skin discoloration, often turning red or purple.

Diagnosis and Treatment of DVT

The presence of these symptoms requires immediate medical attention. Diagnosis usually involves a combination of physical examination, ultrasound imaging, and blood tests. Prompt diagnosis and treatment with blood thinners or clot-busting medications is then required to reduce the risk of complications, including PE. The pulmonary embolism lawyer at the Kopec Law Firm can give you advice on your situation.

The Threat of Untreated DVT: Pulmonary Embolism & the Need for the Pulmonary Embolism Lawyer

Left untreated, DVT can lead to serious complications. In some cases, the clot can break off and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.

Pulmonary Embolism Symptoms

PE can present with various symptoms, especially:

  • Sudden shortness of breath, often at rest or with exertion.
  • Chest pain, sharp or stabbing, often worsening with coughing or deep breathing.
  • Cough, sometimes bloody.
  • Rapid breathing (tachypnea).
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness.
  • Rapid heart rate (palpitations).
  • Unexplained sweating.
  • Fever.

Treatment and Outcomes

Early diagnosis and treatment of PE are crucial to prevent severe problems or death. Treatment options typically involve blood thinners to dissolve the clot and prevent further clotting. In some cases, clot-busting medications or surgical procedures may be necessary.

Without prompt treatment, PE can have serious outcomes. Some individuals then experience long-term problems like chronic shortness of breath, pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs), or leg swelling. In severe cases, PE can be fatal. Accordingly, in these circumstances, contact the pulmonary embolism lawyer.

Conclusion: Call the Pulmonary Embolism Lawyer

Pulmonary embolism is a potentially life-threatening condition often triggered by DVT. By understanding the risk factors, implementing preventive measures, and recognizing the symptoms of both DVT and PE, your doctor must take the necessary steps to minimize the risk of serious consequences. These steps include early diagnosis and treatment, which are critical for optimal outcomes.

If you have been injured by pulmonary embolism, then call the Maryland pulmonary embolism lawyer at the Kopec Law Firm. You will speak directly with Mark Kopec. He is a top-rated Maryland medical malpractice lawyer. Contact us at 800-604-0704 for your free consultation.

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