Blood clots form in various locations of the body and are not unique to any specific age group or gender. While there are certain risk factors that may make a patient more likely to develop blood clots, essentially any patient is a potential candidate. Unfortunately, blood clots often go unrecognized until something happens. Even if the patient identifies a problem and seeks medical care, blood clots are frequently misdiagnosed resulting in serious medical complications and sometimes death. Why does this happen? How can you, as the advanced practice nurse, protect your patients from misdiagnosis?
Case Study 1:
A 44-year-old African American male had a partial colectomy to have a cancerous tumor removed. The patient did really well after surgery and was discharged from post-op recovery to the surgical unit at a medical center. Approximately one hour after surgery, the patient complained of gas pains and shortness of breath. The patient continued to complain of gas pains after administration of morphine sulfate. Providers failed to diagnose a pulmonary embolism that resulted in the loss of the patient’s life.
a description of what went wrong in the case study that you selected, as well as why patient blood clots continue to be misdiagnosed. Then, explain how you might have prevented the misdiagnosis of the patient in the study. Include strategies for obtaining patient history, ordering diagnostics, and recommending potential treatment options.