It is widely known that coronary artery disease is the top killer among people around the world, especially in the United States. Having arteries filled up with plaque means that blood cannot flow through the arteries properly, which may lead to cardiac events. One way that doctors have been treating these issues for many years is through stent procedures. Placing cardiac stents allows the blocked arteries to open up, increasing the flow of blood through those vessels and into the heart. However, there are significant risks that come with this procedure. If something goes wrong, patients may file medical malpractice claims to request for damages. This is a form of compensation that helps to make the financial side of the recovery easier for the injured party.
Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease
When a person is struggling with blocked blood vessels in the heart, this is known as heart disease. When a coronary artery is blocked, either partially or fully, one option to fix the problem is through a heart stent. Signs that someone is struggling with blocked arteries can include:
- Chest pain or pressure behind the breastbone
- Trouble with circulation in the extremities, such as the fingers or toes turning blue
- Tingling or numbness in the shoulders or tingling that travels down either or both arms
- Feeling winded or weak without doing anything that would warrant that feeling
If any of these symptoms point to a cardiac issue, most doctors will want to test and see the condition of the heart. If there are issues with too much plaque in any of the arteries of the heart, a heart stent is typically placed.
A cardiologist is usually the doctor placing all types of cardiac stents since they specialize in heart issues. During stent placement, a catheter is fed into the affected artery, and a stent is pushed into place. The stent is then opened up, allowing for increased blood flow. The procedure is simple, but it carries with it many risks. If the stent perforates the artery, this can lead to internal bleeding or hemorrhage. Blood clots can form in the stents, blocking the artery back up and cause a heart attack. Cardiac stents can also lead to an infection in the artery since the metal does irritate the inside of the artery when it is placed. Patients can also have allergic reactions to stents or to the anesthesia used to place the stent.
When a stent causes a problem, it can be because the procedure is not able to fix every situation, or it could be a case of medical malpractice. Recently, research was done that proved most stents did not do enough good when placed in most individuals. Even with that knowledge, many doctors pushed the procedure on their patients, billing Medicare for the procedure even though the health care provider knew it would not improve the patient’s condition. Even the American Medical Association has determined that many doctors are not doing what they needed to do to help the patients get the most out of the stent after placement, making the procedure a waste of time and money to place.
Is Medical Malpractice to Blame?
The only way to be certain if the problem with the stent is malpractice or just a procedure that did not have the desired outcome is to talk to a malpractice lawyer. The attorney can look into the circumstances surrounding the placement of the stent and any follow-up care with the cardiologist in question. If the attorney is experienced with personal injury cases, he or she can likely tell if there is enough evidence to take the case to court.
In the case of someone dying as a result of a poorly placed stent, then a loved one of the injured party will have to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the accused. Before any claim can be filed, the injured party will need to pick a representative for all courtroom proceedings. This should be a law firm or a lawyer who regularly tries malpractice cases. By speaking to an attorney during a free consultation, the injured party can see what the attorney thinks about the potential of the case and talk about what the court would want to be proven. From there, the injured party can hire the attorney that he or she feels the most comfortable with and get the process started.
Medical malpractice is not always the cause of stent problems, but when it is, the person responsible should be held accountable. When someone suffers an injury at the hands of any type of medical professional, an experienced attorney is the best resource that a person can have. He or she can focus on healing while allowing the attorney to take care of everything the court would need.