This survival and wrongful death lawsuit was filed on behalf of a man in Baltimore County after ExpressCare Urgent Care doctors failed to diagnose his pulmonary embolism. Filed on February 2, 2017, in Health Claims Arbitration; it is the 59th medical malpractice case filed in Maryland in 2017.
- Another very similar lawsuit against ExpressCare
Plaintiff goes to the ExpressCare Urgent Care in Dundalk, where he comes under the care of defendant doctors. When he arrives, his heart rate is high, he is short of breath, and he has low oxygen levels.
No question, these are the ingredients you need for a pulmonary embolism and the development of a DVT. Could it have been asthma? Absolutely. But these symptoms are consistent with a pulmonary embolism seemingly to the point where you would want to rule it out. Even a small risk of pulmonary embolism is a significant risk because not providing immediate treatment a pulmonary embolism can have very grave consequences. Conversely, if you have a pulmonary embolism or a DVT and you catch it early, outcomes are usually quite good. In patients who are anticoagulated, pulmonary emboli are largely or fully cleared within six months.
Back to the facts of this lawsuit. He is diagnosed with having an acute asthma attack. He is given two nebulizer treatments and a spirometry test even though his symptoms are not consistent with an asthma exacerbation. The man is discharged home before any imaging or confirmation or proof of a lack of pulmonary embolism.
Later the same day he suffers cardiac arrest. He goes to Bayview Medical Center via ambulance, in critical condition. He is pronounced deadly shortly after he arrives at the hospital. An autopsy reveals that he died of bilateral pulmonary emboli due to lower extremity deep vein thrombosis.Additional Comments
- The defense to this case will be that a pulmonary embolism and asthma have many overlapping symptoms, so it was reasonable to diagnose asthma. True. But plaintiff's expert is going to testify that when a patient has shortness of breath and low oxygen levels as this guy did, the standard of care requires a differential diagnosis of a pulmonary embolism. This guy should have been sent immediately to the emergency room based on these facts.
- We have been saying it is either asthma or symptoms of a cardiac event, but it would also be both.
- You might interpret the comments above that the patient clearly had a pulmonary embolism. That is not the case but let's put it in context. A patient with all the classic symptoms of a pulmonary embolism still probably does not have a PE. But the risk is so great and the benefits of treatment are so high that even a low likelihood of a PE is cause for alarm and testing to rule out this condition.
- Baltimore County
- Express Primary Care, LLC
- A Chief Medical Officer at ExpressCare who was a former ER doctor
- A physician's assistant at Express Care
- MNR Industries, LLC
- Lifebridge Health, LLC
- Bayview Medical Center
- Failure to appreciate the likelihood of pulmonary embolism
- Failure to properly diagnose plaintiff with having a pulmonary embolism
- Failure to issue appropriate orders/recommendations to rule out a pulmonary embolism
- Survival Action
- Wrongful Death
- Peter S. Marshall, M.D., MPH - board certified in Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care Medicine; currently doing research at Yale School of Medicine in pulmonary embolism, therapeutic hypothermia, and critical care outcomes; three patient care locations in New Haven, Connecticut
Have you or someone you know sustained a severe injury due to the negligence of a doctor? The attorneys at Miller & Zois can help you get compensation, with a history of earning large verdicts and settlements. Call us today at 800-553-8082 or get a free online case review.More Malpractice Claim Information
- Some verdicts and settlements in pulmonary embolism misdiagnosis cases
- A case filed in Baltimore County in 2016 against Franklin Square Hospital regarding the failure to diagnose a pulmonary embolism
- A case filed in 2017 in Baltimore County after a doctor takes plaintiff off her anticoagulation therapy for an extended period, causing a pulmonary embolism