Fatalities related to cardiac stents rise

Fatalities related to cardiac stents rise

New Jersey medical professionals have long been aware of the dangers of cardiac stents, especially when applied improperly. Although the beneficial effects are well documented, improper application and misdiagnosis has lead to an increasing number of unnecessary and harmful cardiac stent procedures.

More than $110 billion dollars have been expended on cardiac stents in the last decade as the treatment has became more and more widespread. Seven million patients have received stents in the last ten years. Their use in critical cases such as heart attacks is noncontroversial and straightforwardly beneficial. Elective surgery with stents, however, is much more risky.

There are 350,000 elective stent installations a year. A large percentage of them are unnecessary, unwisely installed and tinged by the shadow of medical malpractice. A recent estimate made by a reputable doctor who oversaw eight clinical trials with over 7,000 patients states that as many as 2 out of 3 elective stents are unnecessary. The doctor surmises that the high profitability of stent surgery might have some influence over the situation. He cited a recent case where one patient, who went to a cardiologist with a complaint of chest pain, had 21 stents installed over the next eight months. One procedure went so badly that it ripped a blood vessel open and the doctor mistakenly installed five stents in the same artery.

Medical malpractice can be difficult to prove in emergency medical circumstances, but the picture becomes clearer with elective surgery. If an elective procedure proves to be deleterious to the health of the patient, perhaps even going so far as to cause the patient's death, then there is a reasonable likelihood that the surgery should not have been performed. n cases such as these it behooves the victim or their surviving family to seek the professional advice of an attorney.

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