Deep Vein Thrombosis

Unless you or a loved one have been specifically diagnosed with it, it’s likely that you have never heard of the condition known as deep vein thrombosis before. 

It may not carry the same level of notoriety as something like cancer. However, that doesn’t mean it is a condition you should ignore, as it can be fatal if you fail to have it treated. Even in cases where it isn’t life-threatening, deep vein thrombosis can significantly impact your quality of life. 

Making matters worse is that it is fairly feasible for the thrombosis to be the result of someone else’s mistakes, leaving you facing medical bills and pain because of another person’s negligence. If that is the case, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you get compensation to pay for medical bills and compensate for your pain.

What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms within a deep vein inside your body. Most of these deep veins are in your legs, which means blood flow to areas below that point in your leg will either be diminished or entirely unable to circulate. 

This can cause problems such as:

  • Swollen legs
  • Pain
  • Cramping
  • Skin turning red or purple
  • Warmth near the clot

Unfortunately, these symptoms aren’t always obvious; that said, if you do detect any of these, you should consult a physician immediately.

What Are Potential Complications That Can Result From Deep Vein Thrombosis?

The most serious complication of this condition is a pulmonary embolism, which occurs when the blood clot slips loose and flows through the blood until it reaches the heart and lungs, where it gets stuck again. 

A pulmonary embolism can cause such symptoms as:

  • Pain or difficulty while breathing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Faintness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Increased pulse

A less devastating complication involves reduced blood flow to your legs, which can cause discoloration and prevent your body from properly healing the damage to your legs.

What Can Cause Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Anything that causes your blood to flow poorly or affects how your blood clots can potentially cause this condition. While some causes — like pregnancy or cancer — are no one’s fault, many of the following causes can be at least partially traced back to the negligence of another party:

Remaining Stationary For Long Periods

Most people move about every day, even if just for a little bit. But if you don’t move or exercise at all, there is a good chance you will develop a blood clot in your leg.

These circumstances are most common in nursing homes and hospitals, where many patients are bedridden. Medical staff, therefore, should be aware of these potential complications and make efforts to prevent them, such as helping their patients move around or massaging their muscles to keep them from stiffening up and clotting.

When these precautions aren’t taken, the medical staff’s negligence may result in someone in their care developing deep vein thrombosis.

Surgical Errors

Any injury to a vein can result in blood clotting, and surgical errors are one type of vein injury that should be preventable. These occur when a surgeon makes an incorrect cut and doesn’t take appropriate measures to repair their mistake. 

Thankfully, these are rare. However, some surgeons don’t want to admit their mistakes and may not advise a patient if something went wrong during surgery, which is a form of negligence.

Medication Errors

Another potential source of deep vein thrombosis is any medication that clots or thins your blood. If a doctor prescribes you a drug that affects how your blood flows (either as the main purpose of the drug or as a side effect), they need to take great care to prevent medication errors that may cause blood clots.

When Can You File a Lawsuit If You Suffer Consequences of Deep Vein Thrombosis?

If you are stricken with deep vein thrombosis in the state of Georgia, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit, though that eligibility depends on several factors:

Was the Condition Caused By the Negligence of Another?

The first question a lawyer will ask during a free consultation is whether another party caused the harm you suffered. That question is a lot more complicated than it may initially seem.

Though it can be reasonably easy to determine whether nursing home staff neglected a patient or whether a surgeon damaged a vein, determining whether a doctor should have been aware of the dangers of prescribing a particular drug may require more research.

Typically, an attorney will investigate what caused your condition and whether anyone involved in your medical care, in any way, was negligent.

Did You Suffer Significant Damages?

Deep vein thrombosis is frustrating and painful, but it isn’t always worthy of a lawsuit. 

Mild cases may involve some swelling and a day or two of pain. Though that isn’t fun by any means, there aren’t meaningful expenses involved in such a short timeframe, even if it costs you a day or two of work. Court costs alone would probably make filing a lawsuit an unreasonable waste of your time.

Conversely, if the condition resulted in a pulmonary embolism, you could be facing massive medical bills and a years-long recovery process. In a situation like that, you have easily suffered significant enough damages that it is worth hiring a lawyer to fight for as much compensation as possible.

What Is the Time Limit To File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Georgia?

If you want to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice in Georgia, you are constrained by the statute of limitations — which is typically two years from the date of the injury. There are exceptions, but even with those exceptions, you have, at most, five years to file a lawsuit.

Can I Do Anything If a Loved One Dies From Complications From Deep Vein Thrombosis?

If a loved one dies from complications with deep vein thrombosis — most likely the result of a pulmonary embolism — you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. While that won’t bring your loved one back, it can help you get money to pay for their funeral costs or outstanding medical expenses due to their condition. It can also get you money if you are a dependent of that loved one. 

Consult an attorney to learn about your options as soon as possible after a loved one dies due to complications from this condition. Wrongful death lawsuits are also subject to a statute of limitations.

Contact an Atlanta Medical Malpractice Lawyer to Discuss Your Deep Vein Thrombosis and Legal Options

Deep vein thrombosis is a condition that often results from the negligence of others. If you or a family member is suffering from it, contact our Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Malone Law immediately to schedule a free consultation.