Written by attorney Mitchell Scott Sexner

Medical malpractice deep vein thrombosis

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious medical condition in which a blood clot forms inside a deep vein and causes swelling, usually in the calf or leg, but sometimes also in the pelvic region and arms. It usually starts as a painful red, warm, tender or swollen spot with enlarged veins, but can quickly turn into a life threatening situation if the blood clot (or thrombus) moves to the person’s heart, lungs or brain resulting in a stroke, heart attack, or pulmonary embolism. Because Deep Vein Thrombosis can be a very deadly condition, and if left untreated can result in these types of serious conditions or even death, it is imperative that medical personnel stay alert for the warning signs and take immediate action if detected. In those instances where doctors, nurses, hospitals, or nursing homes fail to do so and are potentially negligent, then medical malpractice may have occurred and the patient or family should considered contacting a qualified attorney.

Although there can be many causes, there are three main reasons why DVT tends to occur. They are:

  • An increase in the blood’s clotting properties
  • A decreased blood flow rate
  • A change due to damaged blood vessels

An array of different medical conditions can also lead to DVT including:

  • Compression of the veins
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Infections
  • Cancer
  • Trauma
  • Stroke
  • Nephritic syndrome
  • Heart conditions
  • Increased risk due to surgery, certain medications that may include Yaz birth control, immobilization, hospitalization, and pregnancy

Unfortunately, a common cause relates to recent surgery as the patient is often immobile for long periods of time. Preventative measures such as administration of Heparin, other anticoagulant medicines or thrombolytic medicines to dissolve suspected blood clots can also work well along with compression stockings. Sometimes, insertion of an inferior vena cava filter (IVC filter) is performed into the vein. Although there are medical procedures to treat Deep Vein Thrombosis, the best method is early detection and treatment. But when a doctor fails to heed the warning signs and recognize the condition as it develops, medical malpractice has occurred.

Additional resources provided by the author

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