Nearly eight million Americans are living with a condition called peripheral artery disease (PAD), which causes the arteries in the legs to be blocked and clogged by fatty deposits. PAD can make walking difficult and painful – and it can result in more serious, possibly life-threatening, health complications if it goes undiagnosed and untreated.
Tragically, recent findings suggest that approximately half of PAD suffers in the U.S. are not aware that they have this condition and are not receiving treatment.
While this may be the result of people avoiding doctors or attributing their PAD symptoms to other health issues, it can also stem from failures to properly diagnose the condition.
Possible PAD Complications
About half of those stricken with the peripheral artery disease reportedly also have coronary or cerebral artery disease, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in the March issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.1
These complications can trigger more serious health issues, putting people at a significantly higher risk of heart attack, stroke and possibly even death.
What You Can Do to Avoid PAD Complications
Two of the most effective things you can do to minimize your risk of developing serious PAD complications include to:
- Become familiar with the symptoms of PAD, which include (and are by no means limited to):
- Pain in the legs made worse by walking, which dissipates by resting. Note that roughly 40% of individuals with PAD don’t experience symptoms of leg pain.
- Aches, pain, or cramps from walking occurring in the buttock, hip, thigh, and/or calf
- Feelings of tiredness, fatigue, heaviness
- Changes in the feet’s skin color, with them typically turning either pale or bluish in hue
- Muscle atrophy
- Hair loss
- Skin that is cool to the touch, especially after walking
- Inability to find pulse in feet
- Non-healing ulcers
- Sores in feet or legs
- Cold or numb toes.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you start experience the signs of peripheral artery disease.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people to ignore these symptoms and try to find ways to limit their mobility in order to suppress them. Speaking to this issue, Dr. Paul W. Wennberg, a cardiologist and specialist in vascular disease at the Mayo Clinic, has explained that:
A lot of people limit their activity for other reasons, like a hip problem, back pain or breathing difficulty, and may not push themselves hard enough to provoke symptoms of PAD… [they] may have only minimal disease in their legs, or they adapt their lifestyle to where they don’t notice symptoms anymore.
How Medical Malpractice Can Contribute to Failures to Diagnose PAD
Tragically, the oversights and mistakes of medical professionals can contribute to failures to diagnose PAD, putting patients at a far greater risk of experiencing serious health complications. When these medical mistakes occur, they tend to include (and are by no means limited to) medical professionals:
- Failing to perform the proper diagnostic test(s)
- Misreading or misinterpreting the test results
- Failing to administer the appropriate treatment(s)
- Failing to provide the necessary monitoring and follow-up care to keep complications at bay.
When medical mistakes contribute to failures to diagnose PAD, patients may have a malpractice claim against the potentially negligent medical professionals. Pursuing these claims can be the key to securing compensation to cover ongoing medical bills related to PAD complications – and to restoring lives.
Contact Kingston Personal Injury Lawyer Charles N. Rock
If you or someone you love has been harmed by any medical mistake or oversight, you can turn to Kingston Personal Injury Attorney Charles N. Rock for aggressive legal advocacy and effective help obtaining the compensation to which you or your loved one may be entitled.
Set up a meeting with Attorney Charles N. Rock today by calling (845) 383-1170 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page. To ensure that you have the legal support you need ASAP, Attorney Charles N. Rock can meet you at your home or a hospital when needed.
1“Peripheral Artery Disease” published in The New England Journal of Medicine, March 2016.