A middle-aged woman just had major surgery on her hip to correct a fracture, causing her to be immobilized for around-the-clock care. The healthcare professionals responsible for her recovery in the hospital she is admitted to overlook the possibility of blood clots. Suddenly, the woman’s lungs give way, making her unable to breathe and take in oxygen. Unfortunately, the woman doesn’t survive the unexpected condition. Later on, the cause of death is pinpointed as venous thromboembolism, which is when a blood clot breaks the vein open, allowing it to travel to the lungs and block blood supply. Had the doctors performed venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis – preventative measures that help avert blood clots from occurring – the patient would still be alive.
Preventable Treatment by Use of Blood Thinners
Although this story is fictional, it exemplifies real-life accounts involving Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis. A significant number of patients have lost their lives to the effects of VTE, and studies show that the condition is strongly linked to hospitals. The health issue is preventable, especially with prescribed anti-coagulants – a type of medicine that thins the blood.
Unfortunately, many health professionals fail to diagnose the blood clots or put preventative measures in place that failed to be effective. VTE can be detected by noticing the symptoms of blood clots and through a thorough physical exam. Performing proper venous thromboembolism prophylaxis is important in the healthcare industry because it is crucial to saving the lives of patients, as there are many high-risk factors concerning the disease.
High Risk Factors of VTE
Without VTE prophylaxis, patients who have experienced major trauma, were burnt badly or had major surgery could develop the condition, leading to fatal results. The preventative measures for VTE are underutilized in hospitals, despite national guidelines and evidence from clinical trials. More physicians need to have the understanding of when to select the right drug, dosage and duration of treatment for medically ill patients at risk of VTE.
Issues with VTE Prophylaxis
There are a variety of reasons why preventative measures for blood clots are not being utilized correctly. Some obstacles of optimizing VTE prophylaxis include uncertainty about the right method for conducting the recommended risk assessment and how effective preventative anticoagulant therapy really is. There are also complications in the presence of related hospital protocols, as well as performance measures. These issues need to be assessed to establish VTE prophylaxis that is effective against blood clots.
VTE Medical Malpractice Cases Brought to Trial
As we mentioned in our previous post, we are currently handling several VTE medical malpractice cases. Through the cases, we aim to encourage appropriate VTE prophylaxis and bring awareness to the issue. Two of the cases are being brought to trial by our law firm, with one taking place in October and the other in January. We are hard at work trying to achieve a course of action that will lead to a settlement of which the victim’s survivors can be awarded.
If you are looking for assistance with your VTE-related or other medically associated cases, like a cerebral palsy claim, contact our Baltimore-based law firm for a consultation.