Woman with blood clot in leg.

Blood clots are jelly-like masses of protein, platelets, and blood cells. In many situations, they can be lifesaving as they form to prevent excessive bleeding. But what happens if they form unnecessarily? The consequences can be very serious, and sometimes even fatal. In this post we’ll discuss signs and symptoms, risk factors, and filing a blood clot lawsuit.

If you believe you’re the victim of malpractice involving blood clots, you’re going to want to keep reading to learn more!

A Story Of Blood Clot Malpractice

In 2015, an Illinois man went to the hospital because of leg pain. He underwent blood testing and doctors ruled out deep vein thrombosis. No arterial tests were done and he was simply discharged. He returned the same day because his leg pain was now excruciating. And it was accompanied by numb, cold feet. What happened? Another failed diagnosis. Another discharge. And more neglect.

The patient returned a third time in critical condition. That’s when doctors finally performed an arterial blood test. The tests revealed blood clots from the knee down, in both legs. His legs were consequently amputated. 

Had doctors performed an arterial blood test during his first visit, they could have saved his legs. This was a case of malpractice. This was grounds for a blood clot lawsuit. 

Nurse holds blood clot x-ray in hands.

Types Of Blood Clots

Blood clots can form in the arteries and veins. As the clot becomes bigger, or blocks more of your blood, you may start to notice symptoms. Symptoms may include cold extremities, muscle pain or spasms, tingling or weakness in limbs, or loss of color in affected limb. 

Blood clots are usually classified as either arterial or venous. Let’s discuss the two types in more detail. 

Arterial Blood Clots

Arteries are the vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the body. A blood clot in the arteries blocks blood from reaching vital parts of the body. Most arterial blood clots occur in the legs and feet (like the Illinois man from the story above). 

Venous Blood Clots

Veins are vessels that carry low-oxygen blood back to the heart. In addition to the arteries, blood clots can form in veins too. Venous blood clots can further be categorized into three different types:

  • Superficial venous thrombosis: forms in a vein close to the surface of the skin
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): occurs in a major vein that is deep in the body. 
  • Pulmonary embolism: this is a DVT which breaks and travels up to the lungs where it gets stuck. This can be fatal.

Patients who just had surgery are at a higher risk for getting a blood clot. However, other factors can increase the risk of blood clots. Some of these conditions include smoking, pregnancy, obesity, hormonal medications, heart disease, and more. No matter the cause of your blood clot, it’s important that you receive adequate and thorough medical care. If not, a blood clot lawsuit may be in order. 

Proper Treatment Of Blood Clots

When it comes to treating a blood clot the most important thing is a quick diagnosis. Without a proper and timely diagnosis, blood clots can become larger and more life threatening as time passes by. Doctors usually diagnose blood clots by performing a physical exam, blood tests, or medical imaging. 

Once doctors have properly diagnosed the blood clots, treatment begins. Blood clot treatment may involve the use of anticoagulants. This can help thin the blood and prevent new clots from forming. Doctor may also consider thrombolytics to help dissolve the clot. If your body is unable to dissolve the blood clot, doctors may want to go in with a catheter to remove the clot surgically. 

How To Recognize Negligence

Blood clots can occur even if the doctor and hospital did everything right and followed the standard of care. However, sometimes negligence does play a role. 

What types of mistakes warrant a blood clot lawsuit? There can be a slew of reasons, but let’s take a look at a few examples:

  • Not properly diagnosing the blood clot – this involves not carrying out proper testing and examination
  • Failing to consider a patient’s family medical history
  • Not providing proper post-op directions/care
  • Forgetting to follow up with a patient
  • Prescribing or dispensing the wrong medication

These acts can exacerbate a blood clot and cause more unnecessary pain and illnesses. They may also warrant a blood clot lawsuit. 

Compensation For A Blood Clot Lawsuit

If your doctor’s negligence caused you harm, you may be eligible for compensation. Beyond your medical bills, you may be able to pursue future costs for treatment and loss of income.

In addition, you can seek monetary compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as diminished quality of life.

Woman stresses over medical bills.

How An Attorney Can Help

Proving your doctor breached the standard of care isn’t easy. An attorney with experience in medical malpractice can help. Here at Hampton & King, our attorneys can help you get the justice you deserve. We have over 60 years of experience and would be glad to assist you. We’ll help you gather the necessary information for initiating a blood clot lawsuit and seek maximum compensation. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation.