Deep Vein Thrombosis: Illustrating The Dire Sequel Of An Untreated Case

When deep vein thrombosis, which should be a minor case, escalates into a more harsh condition, it takes illustration with legal animation to win court cases.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Photo by Lukas Tennie on Unsplash

There are three types of veins in the human body, the superficial vein, the perforating vein, and the deep vein. 

The superficial veins are those we can see right underneath our skin. 

The deep veins are located deeper in our muscles.  According to a medical science publication,  the deep veins in the legs hold about 90 percent of the blood traveling in our body. 

The perforating vein, on the other hand, is the vein that passes blood from the superficial vein to the deep vein. This vein has valves that prevent blood from flowing from the deep vein to the superficial one.

The calves have muscles that are said to act as the second heart. They are called the second heart because the movement of your calf muscles causes the blood in the deep veins to flow faster.  Therefore, lack of movement meàns poor flow and invariably blood clotting. Some primary deep veins in the body include the femoral vein and popliteal vein

What is Deep Vein Thrombosis(DVT)?

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a disease that arises when a blood clot, known as a thrombus, is created in a deep vein in the body. This DVT mostly occurs in the lower leg. Other places it can show up are the thigh, the pelvis, and even the arm. 

According to the CDC, about 900,000 people in the United States could be affected by deep vein thrombosis, and one-third will have long-term complications.

Deep vein thrombosis is usually caused by actions (or inactions) such as being inactive, probably due to bed rest or during a long trip. It could also happen when someone has a history of blood clotting in their family, a disease resulting in blood clotting, obesity, and having a tube in your blood vessel (catheter) for a long time. Deep vein thrombosis can also arise from damage to the veins through surgery or inflammation, which causes the blood to clot.

Deep Vein Thrombosis
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Symptoms and Complications of Deep Vein Thrombosis 

DVT is a mild condition. Although it is usually underdiagnosed, it can be treated and prevented. The same cannot be said for the complications that stem from it. 

Since deep vein thrombosis can be underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed, knowing the symptoms helps both the plaintiff and the expert witness to point it out in a court case.

Patients with DVT will notice pain in the leg (or affected area), swelling, cramping, and soreness in the calf. Discoloration is also evident around the area, and depending on your skin tone, it could be a red or purple discoloration. They are also going to feel warmth in the affected area. For some people, however, there are no obvious symptoms.

Deep vein thrombosis should not be taken lightly as the complications are severe and fatal. Some of the complications of DVT include pulmonary embolism, chronic venous insufficiency, and Phlegmasia Cerulea Dolens (PCD).

Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when there is improper functioning of the valves in the vein. It is most commonly caused by deep vein thrombosis. An example of chronic venous insufficiency is seen in this case, Young v. Sullivan, 911 F.2d 180 (1990), where the plaintiff had further complications after surgery for a fracture in his left femur.

Phlegmasia Cerulea Dolens (PCD) is another quite rare complication of DVT. It literally means painful blue inflammation, and it is exactly that.

Pulmonary embolism is the final, most serious, and most common complication of DVT. This complication occurs when part of the blood clot breaks away and flows through the blood to the lungs. In the lungs, it blocks a blood vessel, which can cause it to be fatal. If the piece that breaks off is small, there may be no symptoms.

In this case, a 63-year-old woman passed away from a pulmonary embolism that resulted from negligence after a knee surgery. She showed signs of clots around that region, and the normal thing to do was to administer prophylactic treatment to her to prevent DVT and then pulmonary embolism, but it wasn’t done.

Another case is Schembri v Marshall [2020], with a similar case as the former, where the claimant’s wife lost her life to pulmonary embolism due to negligence on the side of the medical practitioner after being in his office a day before her death.

Benefits of Litigation Animation In A DVT Case

As the name implies, deep vein thrombosis deals with the deep veins. For the jury and spectators to understand the full effect of a disease so well hidden such as this, it has to be properly illustrated.

Using legal animation affords you numerous benefits in a courtroom for a case like this. Every case needs evidence. Illustrating an animation on the vein’s location and how blood flows there will do a great job of demonstrating how clots form.

Again, trial animation will help in cases where deep vein thrombosis leads to pulmonary embolism, which is a deadlier form. With the help of an expert witness, trial animation will aid in analyzing how it could have been avoided or what could have caused it. This animation will prove that it is indeed a case of negligence on the part of the medical practitioner, as this is usually a debate.

In summary, litigation animation will win over the jurors for deep vein thrombosis cases where it looked like getting proof was far-fetched.

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