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?Consider the following case studies:
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 patients life.
Case Study 2
A 50-year-old white male went to the emergency department with complaints of right leg pain. The patient is an avid runner, and knowing this, the provider diagnosed the patient with a right leg muscle strain. The patient was sent home with Flexeril as needed and Motrin 800 mg q8h as needed. One week later, the patient followed up with his primary care doctor with continued right leg pain. His doctor instructed him to continue to take the muscle relaxant and Motrin, and advised that the pain should subside in 510 days. The following day the right leg pain increased, prompting the patient to return to the emergency department. Multiple providers failed to diagnose a blood clot in the patients right leg.
Review Part 11 of the Buttaro et al. text in this weeks Learning Resources.Select one of the cased studies provided. Reflect on what went wrong in this case study, as well as why patient blood clots continue to be misdiagnosed.Think about how you might have prevented the misdiagnosis of the patient the case study. Consider strategies for obtaining patient history, ordering diagnostics, and recommending potential treatment options.By Day 3Post 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.Read a selection of your colleagues responses.