You go to a hospital to get better. Thankfully, this is usually the case. But sometimes, the hospital stay and the treatment there can itself be the source of a painful, and even deadly condition. A recent report from the U.K. shows that over 900 deaths were caused by blood clots that developed during hospital stays in Welsh hospitals in 2010. Of these deaths, 70% of them were preventable.
In the U.S., a much larger country, there are tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of deaths each year from blood clots, making it perhaps the third most common killer after heart disease and cancer.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition that includes blood clots in the veins. The clots often, but not always, form in the legs. An often-fatal complication of DVT can occur when the blood clot breaks off and ultimately makes its way to the lungs, where it can cut off blood supply and lead to death. Patients at highest risk for DVT include those who are on extended bed rest, suffering from cancer or recovering from major surgery.
DVT deaths are often preventable with blood thinning drugs and compression stockings for at-risk patients. Failure to diagnose and treat them properly may constitute medical malpractice on behalf of the provider.
Dr. Michael M. Wilson is an attorney and a physician who earned his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his legal and medical degrees from Georgetown University. He has focused in the area of medical malpractice for more than three decades and secured more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of clients throughout the country. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and New York as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is listed in America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.