A pulmonary embolism is one of the most dangerous conditions to develop in the human body. They're difficult to diagnose, and they're likely to become life-threatening without treatment.
As a patient who has suffered as a result of misdiagnosis, you may want to know more about this condition. Here is what you should understand about a pulmonary embolism.
What is a pulmonary embolism?
Pulmonary embolisms can happen if one or both of the lungs' arteries are blocked by a material. Usually, it's a blood clot. These clots generally travel upward from the legs into the lungs but occasionally come from other parts of the body.
Since the clots work their way into the lungs and block blood flow, they quickly become life-threatening. Fortunately, those who receive prompt treatment have a better chance of survival with fewer ill effects.
How can patients prevent pulmonary embolisms?
Pulmonary embolisms are commonly caused by clots, collagen, parts of a tumor, fat from a broken bone's marrow or air bubbles. Certain people are at a higher risk of developing these problems, like if you recently had surgery or have cancer. Heart disease and bed rest may also cause an increased risk. Long trips in cars or planes also slow down blood flow, potentially leading to clots forming.
On a day-to-day basis, the best thing you can do for yourself to prevent pulmonary embolisms is to stay active, stop smoking and lose weight. If you are pregnant or take estrogen, your risk may be higher. Make sure to go to regular medical checkups and reach out to a doctor if you have symptoms such as chest pain, cough or difficulty breathing.
Our site has more on what to do if a misdiagnosis leads to death. A legal case may not bring back a loved one, but it can help you get compensated for your loss.