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Misdiagnosis of a pulmonary embolism results in death

A patient has arrived at the hospital with complaints of chest pains and shortness of breath. The doctor failed to diagnose his condition, suggested that the patient was suffering from a virus and instead of treating him told the patient he go home. No medication was prescribed and it appears the only treatment suggested was bed rest. The patient went home but felt that something much worse was wrong than a virus. He then wrote up his will and a short time later died.

The estate of a deceased man has now just recently been awarded $1.065 million in a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit. The attorney for the estate alleged the doctor was negligent failing to diagnose the pulmonary embolism and then discharging the patient.

A 911 call suggested that the patient had collapsed and was unconscious. Emergency medical providers were sent but were unable to revive him, but the patient died on his way to the hospital. What the patient was suffering from was a pulmonary embolism rather than a virus.

Many Ohio and Kentucky residents have suffered and died from pulmonary embolisms in a matter of hours. As pulmonary embolism tends to block major blood vessels, it's essential to diagnose the problem and quickly treat it before irreversible damage or death occurs. Surviving such a pulmonary embolism requires that the doctor spot symptoms such as ones seen with heart attack or stroke and take immediate steps to correct it.

A medical provider must make certain that patients complaining of shortness of breath or chest pain are not suffering from something more serious than a cold or flu. Patients must assume that the symptoms are serious in nature until the true problem is diagnosed. Unfortunately, that did not occur regarding the above circumstances.

Source:, "Vineland man's estate awarded $1.065 M in malpractice case," by Jason Laday, Jan. 31, 2012

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