Sommers Schwartz attorneys Judith A. Susskind and Dina M. Zalewski negotiated a confidential $650,000 settlement for the estate of a 54-year-old man who died of a pulmonary embolism resulting from a DVT. A blood clot in his legs traveled to his lungs.
The plaintiff had back surgery in September of 2018. Following the surgery, he was on strict bedrest for an extended period. The patient was obese and unable to walk or bear weight, which posed a significant risk of developing blood clots in his legs, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). While in the hospital, he was given a blood thinner (Heparin) every eight hours, along with compression stockings, to prevent blood clots.
Three weeks later, the patient was transferred to a rehabilitation facility, with instructions to continue all the daily DVT prophylactic measures the hospital had been providing. Although the rehab facility’s records indicated that that treatment was to continue, it was not performed.
A nurse documented “concern” regarding swelling and pain developing in the patient’s left leg. The following day, the doctor examined the patient and noted swelling in his lower left leg. The patient also complained of pain and tenderness in the leg. The proper measures were not timely taken to diagnose and treat the blood clots (DVT).
Two days later, a venous Doppler revealed “acute embolism and thrombosis of unspecified deep veins of left lower extremity.” Even after the diagnosis was made, the appropriate therapies were not provided to protect this patient from death due to blood clots traveling to his lungs.
A few days after, during a physical therapy session, the patient suffered respiratory distress and became hypotensive. He became unresponsive, CPR was started, and 911 was called, but he did not survive. He died from a pulmonary embolism.
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