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Malpractice Claim After Fatal Pulmonary Embolism

When Frank Hermann went to the emergency room complaining of flank pain, the emergency medical physicians gave him a CT scan of the abdomen. He was sent home and 10 days later he was dead after suffering multiple pulmonary embolisms.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Against Tully Health Center

According to a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against Tully Health Center and an emergency room contractor, medical negligence was to blame for Hermann’s death. Filled by Susanne Wilke, Hermann’s wife, the doctors should have found the pulmonary embolism by conducting the proper tests. 

Nine days after being sent home from his first ER visit, Hermann was rushed to the Stamford Hospital by ambulance. The hospital performed a CT scan of his chest which showed a pulmonary embolism, or blockage of the arteries in the lungs. Hermann died the next day. An autopsy showed Hermann died from weeks-old embolisms in both lungs. 

The lawsuit claims the ER doctors should not have discharged the patient without ruling out more serious conditions and a CT scan of the chest would have revealed the embolism. Hermann’s death also left a 6-year-old boy without a father.

Blood Clots and Fatal Embolisms

A blood clot can form in various parts of the body, often in the lower extremities of the leg. When these clots are dislodged, they can travel to other parts of the body, including sensitive areas like the lungs and brain. A blood clot in the brain can cause a brain infarction, stroke, and death. 

A blood clot in the lungs is known as a pulmonary embolism. The embolism blocks blood flow to the lungs, as a result the blood may not be oxygenated properly when circulating to the rest of the body. This can cause damage to other parts of the body, and if untreated, can be fatal.  

Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism can include shortness of breath, chest pain, and pain in the back, as Hermann reportedly indicated. 

Flank Pain and Possible Conditions

The flank is the area of the lower back, just below the ribs and above the waist. Flank pain can involve multiple causes, including possible life-threatening injuries. Some of the conditions that may involve flank pain include: 

Did a Family Member Die of a Pulmonary Embolism?

A few years ago, we discussed a $40 million jury award in a medical malpractice case where a college student was released from hospital care, despite having indications of a pulmonary embolism. The next day, she was brought back to the hospital by ambulance and died in the hospital. 

If you had a family member who died of a pulmonary embolism, you may want answers. The doctors or hospitals may not be willing to sit down with you, explain what happened, or show you the hospital records. Unfortunately, it may take a medical malpractice lawsuit to get the answers you and your family need. 

We’re committed to helping patients and families who have been injured by medical malpractice to understand their legal rights and help obtain compensation. To speak with a member of our personal injury team, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (800) 529-6162 today. 

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian
Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm’s litigation practice.  Briggs’ legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 


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