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Heart Catheterization Negligence | Deltona Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Cardiac Catheterization Medical Malpractice

Cardiac catheterization procedures are dangerous. A doctor’s failure to recognize and treat complications from heart catheterization operations can be catastrophic medical malpractice.

One of the risks of heart catheterization is that cholesterol deposits and blood clot debris in the patient’s artery can be dislodged. If this debris goes on to block blood flow, the patient can lose an arm or leg or even her life.

Doctors are aware of this risk and must recognize the complication, called embolism, in time to properly treat it.

In a heart catheterization, the plastic tube that doctors insert into the artery through to the aorta into the heart’s coronary arteries is what dislodged the debris. Doctors cannot prevent this dislodging because they cannot see inside the artery and therefore have no way to know debris is present so it can be avoided.

If doctors do not recognize that dislodged debris has blocked blood flow to the patient’s leg for example, irreversible changes occur in the effected muscles and corresponding nerves.

What happens is the clot hardens and side branches become blocked as well. This is particularly problematic because even if the main block is cleared out, the side branches will not open up. With the side branches closed, the main artery gets backed up which will cause additional clots again and again.

Because of this common risk, doctors must obtain prior informed consent to treat these embolisms if they occur during a heart catheterization. The patient must be informed of the risk and agree that a vascular surgeon should intervene to treat the blood clot or embolism.

While complications due to debris are unpreventable, the failure to recognize or treat them is clear medical malpractice.

For more on medical safety issues, see the library of articles by Daytona Beach medical malpractice attorney.

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