McKeen and Associates attorneys Brian McKeen and Todd Schroeder recently settled a case for $450,000 in excess of insurance limits, for the wrongful death of a man due to the failure of his physician to recognize the clear signs and symptoms of pulmonary embolism.
Pulmonary emboli are silent killers. Often with little prior warning, nearly 300,000 people are killed every year by blood clots which lodge in their lungs. This is the greatest cause of sudden death in otherwise healthy people.
For this reason, physicians must recognize that unexplained shortness of breath, wheezing, and tachycardia may be signs of pulmonary emboli filling the lungs. Patients fully recover when recognized and treated in a timely fashion. In this case, the patient went to an urgent care center and the attending physician simply diagnosed the patient with “respiratory concerns” and sent him home. Three days later he suffered a pulmonary embolism and died in his wife’s arms.
The urgent care center carried limited insurance and was in process of going out of business.