If you live in the Atlanta area, you've heard about the case of Darlene Dukes (left) who died when an emergency dispatcher sent an ambulance to the wrong address last week.
Yes, human error played a part in this tragedy (it appears the dispatcher was not a good listener). But this tragedy could have been avoided if Ms. Dukes had a land line in her home. Many consumers have switched to cell phones as their primary phone in order to save money. But cell phones can cost lives.
There is no technology in place to identify cell phone numbers coming into an emergency call center. Therefore, it is important to have a land line - preferably a corded phone that doesn't require batteries. If your power goes out, your cordless phones won't work and you can't charge your cell phones either.
The official cause of Ms. Dukes' death was a Pulmonary Embolism (PE). A PE occurs when a blood clot travels from its point of origin to the lungs where it lodges in a small vessel causing the blockage of blood and oxygen. That part of the lung dies from lack of blood and oxygen.
Typical symptoms include:
More Medical Minute after the break...
Clots can also be in the form of fat or bone, such as when a traumatic fracture of the large leg bone (femur) occurs. There is always the danger of a tiny piece of bone dislodging from the fracture site and traveling to the lungs.
The cause of clots vary and include prolonged immobilization of the lower legs, such as when sitting in a cubicle or sitting on a plane for many hours without getting up and walking around. Other risk factors include pregnancy, estrogen therapy, injury, recent surgery, cardiac problems, stroke, infection, or obesity.
The most common cause of pulmonary embolism (clots) is Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT. DVT is caused by a formation of a clot in the lower leg or arm.
Symptoms of DVT can vary from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to pain, swelling and redness of the calf area or lower leg caused by the clot irritating the wall of the artery. If you develop these symptoms of pain, redness or swelling in your lower legs - go to an emergency room or notify your doctor to rule out DVT!
Diagnosing a DVT early can mean the difference between life or death.
Scroll up to see the symptoms of pulmonary embolus once a clot breaks off from your leg and travels to your lungs. DVT can mean sudden death, so please take the time to get up, walk around and stretch your legs throughout the day as you sit at your computers!
More info on the web:
This has been your Medical Minute.
Any medical advice published on this blog is for your general information only and is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice. You should not take any action before consulting with your personal physician or a health care provider. Sandrarose.com and its affiliates cannot be held liable for any damages incurred by following advice found on this blog.