Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

Misdiagnosed Pulmonary Embolism

Posted In: Medical Errors 3 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • December 4, 2006
  • 04:14 PM

I just want to share an interesting part of my life. Last year during the summer, I had leg pain that persisted, but I seem to have a high tolerance for pain so I ignored it and it went away within a week. A few weeks later, my grandmother passed away and we had to take a long car ride to her funeral and back. The night we got back I had a terrible pain in my chest. I went to the Dr and he took x-rays, bloodwork and an ultrasound to check my gall bladder. (Mind you, this pain was in my CHEST!) I didn't sleep well that night at all with constant pain. The dr said he would call with results that morning. We waited and waited until finally he called that afternoon and said all was normal. I was sooo upset! I knew there was something wrong, and the pain was only getting worse. It got to where I could only breathe sitting up and that's when my husband took me to the ER. They had to retake x-rays and bloodwork because they didn't have access to the results, and take a CT scan of my abdomen. They were still worried about that gall bladder! They gave me IV pain meds (what a relief) while we waited on the results. Finally the Dr. said that they saw I had a collapsed lung and that I have pneumonia. (I remember thinking that no wonder people died of pneumonia! It's sooo painful!) He sent me home with pain meds and antibiotics. I finally slept well because of the IV pain meds, but the next morning the hospital called. They said that the radiologists review all the cases of the night before and they found that I might have a clot in my lung and it can be a very serious (even fatal!) condition. Then he asked me to come back immediately to confirm the diagnosis by doing a CT scan of my CHEST. So we immediately left for the hospital. The new Dr I saw that time was very helpful. She got me in and they did their stuff immediately. They did indeed find a clot in my lung and I had to be admitted into the hospital for shots of heparin and bed rest. We asked her to thank the Dr that had suspected the PE, because he literally saved my life. They told me that had I not been properly diagnosed in time, I wouldn't have survived. It took them 4 days to diagnose, and I'm told that when people get a PE they drop dead. I am a survivor! :o) I treat each day as a gift and a second chance at life! I am truly blessed with every passing day. And I'm so glad I didn't have to leave my husband and to girls. Thanks for letting me share.

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3 Replies:

  • A friend of mine just went through the same thing...with a twist. His embolism lodged in his spine. He is in a wheelchair, as he has no feeling in his legs, but is beginning physical therapy. The dr's can not tell him if he will walk again or not. It all depends on how well his nerves heel. He too is blessed, even in a chair. The embolism could have gone to his heart, brain or a lung, and he could have died. Prayers and good wishes are extended to you for your continuing good health.
    almostanurse 7 Replies
    • December 14, 2006
    • 00:33 AM
    • 0
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  • Thanks almostanurse! I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I hope with all my heart that he walks again! I'm doing extremely well now! I can do everyday things with no problems, however, I play softball and can tell that I can't inhale quite as much as I used to and get winded pretty easily during games. They have me on Folbalin to keep my homocystine levels down to prevent clotting. I did the usual 7 months of Coumadin and could really never level off where they wanted me so I was there at least once or twice a week to get my finger poked. Sheesh! Glad that's overwith! I had a followup CT scan done this past September and all is well. Hopefully with prevention and exercise, I'll never see this happening to me again. Thanks again!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 18, 2006
    • 05:55 PM
    • 0
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  • I wanted to first hope you are still doing fine for I see this has been a few years since this has happen to you. But I felt that I should tell me story since yours touched me. Two months ago I found my wife dead on my bed after she was supposed to be taking a long nap. But first let me go back to the beginning. about a month and a half before this my wife came to me and told me something was wrong she was having a hard time breathing and chest pains. So I took her to the ER and they hooked her up to all these machines and IV and gave her blood thinners. They told me that they were going to transport her to the main hospital to run tests. So the next day they ran a bunch of test I cant even remember all of them but they kept telling her that her white blood cell count was high and she might have cancer. Then the next day they came back and said that they think she just pulled a muscule in her chest and that she would be fine in a few days. So they keep her for another day to make sure she was okay. They released her the next day and gave her some meds and told her to check in with her normal doctor. So she did and they put her on a heart monitor that she had to walk around with for 24 hours. They did the cat scan and the ultrasound on her heart and gave her a stress test. They came back with nothing. So a month later she was compaining about her back which is normal she had muscule and joint disorder and found she had DD in her back. So she was in the hospital for another three days. They released her and was planning to help her with her back problem. Now back to that night. Eariler that day she told me that she was in pain and wanted to go take a nap. She took her pain meds and when into the room. During that time I took care of our 14 month old daughter. Normally if she is in pain and takes her meds she could be asleep for a while. But later that night when I but the baby to sleep I noticed that she still hadnt come out. So I went into the room and found her on the bed and one look I knew something was wrong but when I went to try to get her up I noticed she was already stiff. I spent the last two months thinking that it was the pain pills that killed her and I had gotten the call from the medical examitor the other day telling me that the pills were not the factor in her death but that she had MULTIPLE PULMONARY THROMBOEMBOLI / DEEP VEIN THROMBOSES. So I have been trying to read up on this and found your story. I have been thinking of trying to go after the hospital for a wrongful death. And I find that alot of people have been misdiagnosed with this. So anyway I have been raising our little girl that is almost 17 months now. But I thought I should share my story and hope that if anyone reads this before its not late that they make sure that someone they love or even themselves gets checked out right and maybe they wont have to live with the fact that no one helped them when they needed it.I just want to share an interesting part of my life. Last year during the summer, I had leg pain that persisted, but I seem to have a high tolerance for pain so I ignored it and it went away within a week. A few weeks later, my grandmother passed away and we had to take a long car ride to her funeral and back. The night we got back I had a terrible pain in my chest. I went to the Dr and he took x-rays, bloodwork and an ultrasound to check my gall bladder. (Mind you, this pain was in my CHEST!) I didn't sleep well that night at all with constant pain. The dr said he would call with results that morning. We waited and waited until finally he called that afternoon and said all was normal. I was sooo upset! I knew there was something wrong, and the pain was only getting worse. It got to where I could only breathe sitting up and that's when my husband took me to the ER. They had to retake x-rays and bloodwork because they didn't have access to the results, and take a CT scan of my abdomen. They were still worried about that gall bladder! They gave me IV pain meds (what a relief) while we waited on the results. Finally the Dr. said that they saw I had a collapsed lung and that I have pneumonia. (I remember thinking that no wonder people died of pneumonia! It's sooo painful!) He sent me home with pain meds and antibiotics. I finally slept well because of the IV pain meds, but the next morning the hospital called. They said that the radiologists review all the cases of the night before and they found that I might have a clot in my lung and it can be a very serious (even fatal!) condition. Then he asked me to come back immediately to confirm the diagnosis by doing a CT scan of my CHEST. So we immediately left for the hospital. The new Dr I saw that time was very helpful. She got me in and they did their stuff immediately. They did indeed find a clot in my lung and I had to be admitted into the hospital for shots of heparin and bed rest. We asked her to thank the Dr that had suspected the PE, because he literally saved my life. They told me that had I not been properly diagnosed in time, I wouldn't have survived. It took them 4 days to diagnose, and I'm told that when people get a PE they drop dead. I am a survivor! :o) I treat each day as a gift and a second chance at life! I am truly blessed with every passing day. And I'm so glad I didn't have to leave my husband and to girls. Thanks for letting me share.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 7, 2010
    • 04:51 AM
    • 0
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