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Wrongful death may be result of unnecessary stent implants

Patients from Covington, Kentucky, that could have been a part of the seven million Americans who received cardiac stent implants over the past 10 years may be interested to know of recent disheartening discoveries made about the devices. Stents being the go-to surgery has led some critics to wonder if the devices are being overused due to a kind of hospital malpractice, with surgeons enriching themselves at the expense of patients.

In support of this claim, of the 700,000 stents implanted yearly, only about half were deemed medically necessary. The other half was seen as not only wasteful but potentially dangerous to the heart health of their recipients, leading to personal injury and wrongful death from overuse. The accusations were made after a review of thousands of pages of documents and regulatory filings filed in court, as well as interviews with cardiologists, heart patients, or the patients’ survivors. Also included was information from more than a dozen different medical studies.

The chief of medicine at a Veterans Administration hospital in New York said that even at the low end of estimates concerning stent overuse, more than a million patients in the U.S. over the past decade now had implants they didn’t need inside their coronary arteries. He was the principal researcher in a 2007 study that showed stents were no more beneficial to stable heart patients than exercise, dietary changes and medicine.

Innocent people can die from hospital malpractice, medication error and other mistakes made by incompetent doctors. A Covington, Kentucky medical malpractice attorney may be able to help clients affected by a doctor’s failure to follow procedure or their failure to diagnose. A lawyer might be of service in arranging compensation for pain and suffering as well as for medical and burial expenses.

Source: Bloomberg Business Week, “Deaths Linked to Cardiac Stents Rise as Overuse Seen”, Peter Waldman, David Armstrong, Sydney P. Freedbe, September 26, 2013


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