Document Detail

Pulmonary embolism and malpractice claims.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9853728     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) with pulmonary embolization (PE) often occurs as an unexpected event with fatal consequences. This provides a setting for malpractice claims. METHODS: We reviewed 160 consecutive malpractice claims submitted by attorneys for medical expert review during the 11-year period ending in 1997. Seven cases involved DVT with PE. RESULTS: Alleged failure to anticipate and reduce the chance of PE was the basis for six of the claims. All six patients were at risk for lower extremity DVT, and one had a history of DVT 6 months earlier. The PE was manifested by sudden death in three cases. The seventh case represented a complication of heparin therapy for PE. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that risk management for PE should focus primarily on DVT. Physicians should perform and document an examination for DVT whenever there is a history of lower extremity stasis or it is likely to occur. They should also consider documenting a concurring second opinion when making anticoagulant-related decisions.
S Fink; T K Chaudhuri; H H Davis
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Southern medical journal     Volume:  91     ISSN:  0038-4348     ISO Abbreviation:  South. Med. J.     Publication Date:  1998 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-12-23     Completed Date:  1998-12-23     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0404522     Medline TA:  South Med J     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1149-52     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Hampton, VA, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Anticoagulants / adverse effects,  therapeutic use
Cause of Death
Death, Sudden / etiology
Decision Making
Heparin / adverse effects,  therapeutic use
Malpractice* / legislation & jurisprudence
Medical Records
Middle Aged
Pulmonary Embolism / etiology,  prevention & control*
Referral and Consultation
Risk Factors
Risk Management
Venous Thrombosis / etiology,  prevention & control
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Anticoagulants; 9005-49-6/Heparin
Erratum In:
South Med J 1999 Feb;92(2):189

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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