Failure to Diagnose Deep Vein Thrombosis
A deep vein thrombosis is a serious, potentially fatal condition where a blood clot forms in the deep veins of the lower extremities or the pelvis. The real danger occurs if the clot breaks away and travels to the lungs. The clot may block the main artery of the lung putting pressure on the right ventricle of the heart. This can be fatal if not diagnosed in a timely fashion.
A patient suffering from deep vein thrombosis may be misdiagnosed with a less serious ailment such as a leg cramp. If the DVT is not diagnosed and treated promptly, it may lead to death. Symptoms of a DVT include: pain and/or swelling of the leg, redness surrounding the swollen area, and dilation of the surface veins. Diagnostic tests can and should be performed to rule out a DVT. Failure to perform such diagnostic tests may constitute medical negligence depending on certain circumstances.
DVTs may arise from invasive surgical procedures such as knee and hip replacements. Since deep vein thrombosis is such a serious condition, doctors have a duty to diagnose and treat such conditions promptly.