Valenzuela Law Firm, PA | Trial Attorney
Attorney Henry E. Valenzuela

The dangers of misdiagnosing deep vein thrombosis

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

When you go to the emergency room, you expect the best possible care. Often patients in the ER have urgent needs that require immediate care. If you fear you may have a blood clot, doctors may misdiagnose you.

To misdiagnose a blood clot may become fatal for the patient.

Symptoms of DVT

DVT can occur at any age, often due to bed rest, injuries, birth control, pregnancy and conditions related to blood clots. If you have a blood clot, you may notice unequal swelling in one leg and not the other. Walking may cause pain and tenderness, while the skin looks red and feels warm.

Some people have no signs at all. Warnings that the clot traveled to the lung include:

  • Pain when breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Coughing blood

A pulmonary embolism can become fatal. If you have a family history of pulmonary embolism or DVT, a blood clot may also be likely for you.

Misdiagnosing DVT

Varicose veins share similar symptoms to DVT. Varicose veins occur when blood pools inside the veins until the veins become large or rope-like. Varicose veins may cause swollen ankles, achy legs, heavy legs, itchy ankles and cramping in the legs. Unlike DVT, varicose veins are not serious. The surface-level clots do not break free and do not typically travel to the lungs. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, only smaller.

In a crowded ER, doctors may make hasty decisions that cause more injuries to the patient. In the case of DVT, the condition can become fatal if the clot breaks.