When you are not feeling well, you expect a medical professional to use established procedures and available equipment to diagnose and treat your condition. Still, medical misdiagnoses happen at an alarming rate. If your doctor fails to diagnose a blood clot, you may experience significant health consequences.
Even though health care professionals know how to treat serious illnesses and injuries, you must be an advocate for your own health. Accordingly, you should understand how a blood clot may affect your overall health. You should also recognize why misdiagnoses happen.
Dangerous types of blood clots
According to the Mayo Clinic, blood clots naturally form when your body responds to cuts or other injuries. This is helpful, as it prevents you from losing too much blood. Still, you do not want gel-like clumps of blood floating around inside your body.
Two types of blood clots are particularly dangerous to your overall health: pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis. A pulmonary embolism results when a blood clot blocks an artery in the lungs. Deep vein thrombosis, by contrast, occurs when a clot cuts off blood flow in a major vein. Both conditions can be quite serious, potentially contributing to heart attacks, strokes or even death.
Problems with diagnosing blood clots
Unfortunately, blood clots are not always easy to diagnose. Because both pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis share symptoms with other medical conditions, your doctor may not realize you have a dangerous blood clot. To determine if you have one, doctors may rely on CT scans, ultrasounds, blood tests or an EKG.
Clearly, if your physician misdiagnosis a blood clot, your life may be in danger. Therefore, doctors need to work diligently to find and treat both pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis. If you suspect a health care professional has missed a blood clot in your body, you also must act quickly to seek a second opinion.