Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) commonly affects the leg veins. A DVT can be asymptomatic, meaning there are no symptoms.
However, in most cases the affected extremity will be painful, red and swollen. The most serious complication of a DVT is that a blood clot could dislodge and travel to the lungs, which is called a pulmonary embolism (PE). A PE can kill a patient because the clot can block the heart/lung track.
To figure out if an individual has a medical malpractice case due to DVT, some things need to be investigated.
- For instance, after an operation, did the patient have anti-embolism elastic stockings ordered by the doctor and put on by the nurse?
- Lying in bed causes blood to lie idle in the leg veins. The stockings compress the superficial veins causing more blood to flow faster through the deep veins, where the greater risk of clotting occurs.
- Did the healthcare providers make sure that the patient exercise his or her legs in bed frequently enough?
- Exercise of the legs, particularly the feet and ankles causes blood to move faster through the veins and reduces the risk of clotting and a subsequent PE.
- Did the doctor order appropriate blood thinners to reduce the risk of clotting? Was a consult with a pulmonary specialist ordered?
These and other questions should be investigated in medical malpractice case involving DVTs and PEs.