December 7, 2012

The parents of a 21-year-old engineering student who attended the University of Texas filed a medical malpractice wrongful death case last week against the University of Texas for their son’s death. They allege that their son died as a result of the failure of the University of Texas at Arlington Health Services to properly diagnose and treat his knee injury and other symptoms during his visit on July 2, 2011 after he had injured his right knee during a sports activity on June 30,  2012.

The medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that when the student appeared for medical treatment at the University of Texas at Arlington Health Services (“Health Services”), his right knee was swollen and painful, he could not put weight on his knee, and his vital signs were abnormal.  Nonetheless, the health care providers at Health Services instructed him to go home and rest.

He returned to Health Services one week later, as instructed, for a follow-up visit. Despite his vital signs being abnormal again, he was sent home. That night, he was transported to a hospital where he died the following day. The wrongful death claim alleges that the student died from an untreated pulmonary embolism and that the staff at Health Services negligently failed to diagnose and treat his condition in a timely fashion that would have prevented his death.

The medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that the student would have earned income in the amount of $4 million over his lifetime and that the medical expenses incurred as a result of the medical malpractice were $85,133.89 and his funeral expenses were $11,800. The surviving parents of the student are seeking compensatory damages in the amount of $8 million each.


How Common Is Pulmonary Embolism Following  A Leg Injury?

A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blood clot (thrombus) that develops in a blood vessel elsewhere in the body (most commonly from the leg), travels to an artery in the lung, and forms an occlusion (blockage) of the artery.

A blood clot that forms in a blood vessel in one area of the body, breaks off, and travels to another area of the body through the bloodstream is called an embolus. An embolus can lodge itself in a blood vessel, blocking the blood supply to a particular organ. This blockage of a blood vessel by an embolus is called an embolism.

An embolism to the lung may cause serious life-threatening consequences and lead to death. PE is most commonly the result of a condition called deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the deep veins of the leg).


Pulmonary embolism is relatively common after trauma and does occur in the absence of lower extremity or spinal fractures. PE typically occurs between 5 days and 7 days after injury; as many as 37% of pulmonary emboli occur early.


If you or a loved one may have suffered injuries or other losses as a result of medical malpractice, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice attorney to learn about your rights and responsibilities in bringing a medical malpractice claim.

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