Pulmonary Embolism Misdiagnosis: Warning Signs and Legal Options By John Macfarlane on February 22, 2024

man clutching his chest with his handsPulmonary embolisms are a potentially life-threatening condition that all too commonly go misdiagnosed. One of the reasons is that their symptoms mimic many other conditions and can be overlooked when a doctor or medical professional is in a rush or neglectful. 

Those who have been harmed as a result of misdiagnosis may be able to recover compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Understanding misdiagnosis details is important when seeking compensation for damages caused by a failure to diagnose a medical condition

At Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, our pulmonary embolism lawyers provide legal services for medical malpractice in Utah, and Salt Lake City, and are available to discuss your legal options if you have suffered from a misdiagnosed pulmonary embolism. 

What Is a Pulmonary Embolism?

A pulmonary embolism, also called a PE, is a blood clot that blocks blood flow to the pulmonary artery, which feeds the lungs. PE blood clots usually form in the deep veins of the leg. Blood flow causes them to break off and eventually reach the lungs where they can cause death if not treated promptly.    

The Warning Signs and Symptoms of Pulmonary Embolisms 

The symptoms of a pulmonary embolism can vary depending on factors such as the size of the blockage and pre-existing lung or heart conditions. Some possible symptoms of pulmonary embolisms that should not be ignored include: 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Chest pain, usually felt when breathing
  • Fainting
  • Lightheaded or dizzy
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat 

Pulmonary Embolisms and the Risk of Misdiagnosis

Without prompt treatment, pulmonary embolisms can be life-threatening. Sadly, misdiagnosis is common due to many of the symptoms of PE overlapping with other conditions.

Symptoms affecting breathing, like shortness of breath and coughing, may be misdiagnosed as pneumonia or asthma. A pulmonary embolism may also be misdiagnosed as bronchitis, a pulled muscle, or even anxiety.

When a pulmonary embolism is misdiagnosed, it can lead to harm from the patient being given the wrong treatment as well as harm from not treating the pulmonary embolism itself. 

Misdiagnosing a pulmonary embolism can have serious consequences including:

  • Permanent lung damage
  • Organ damage from lack of oxygen
  • Death

Filing a Misdiagnosis Lawsuit

Because the symptoms of pulmonary embolisms can mimic other conditions, it’s important that doctors are diligent in examining patients who present with the signs of a pulmonary embolism. When doctors rush or ignore symptoms, they may fail to run sufficient medical tests and subsequently make the wrong diagnosis. Such negligence can cause harm to the patient and may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

Through a medical malpractice lawsuit, it may be possible to recover financial compensation for damages such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future wages
  • Physical therapy costs
  • Pain and suffering 

Schedule a Consultation

Pulmonary embolism misdiagnosis can lead to permanent lung damage and other serious health problems. Holding medical professionals accountable for negligence can help prevent other patients suffering the same harm. If you have suffered from a misdiagnosis, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with the Utah law firm of Younker Hyde Macfarlane to learn more about your legal options.

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Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC

Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC

At Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, our attorneys have decades of combined experience in complex cases. We represent clients in all types of personal injury cases, with a special focus on medical malpractice claims. Our firm is associated with the following professional organizations:

  • Utah Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Salt Lake County Bar Association
  • American Trial Lawyers Association

To schedule an appointment, please contact us online or call (801) 335-6467.

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