Few diagnoses are more frightening to a patient than being told there is a problem with their heart. Our New York City medical malpractice lawyers know that patients are likely to pursue recommended treatment if they believe their heart health is at risk. For many patients, the recommended treatment they are advised to undergo is the implantation of a cardiac stent.
Unfortunately, evidence indicates that huge sums of money have led to corruption within the cardiac stent industry and have resulted in many patients having unnecessary stents implanted. As if this is not bad enough, many of the medical professionals putting the stents in have provided substandard care and have seriously endangered patient health.
Patients Pay the Price for Overuse of Cardiac Stents
Cardiac stents can save lives when used appropriately. Cardiac stents are mesh devices implanted using catheters and designed to prop open clogged blood vessels to facilitate the flow of blood to the heart. For patients with clogged arteries, opening these passages for blood flow can have major health benefits.
Doctors and hospitals that implant stents, however, also reap rewards from the implantation. But these rewards come in the form of big paychecks rather than improved health. The SF Gate estimates that as much as $100 billion has been spent over the last 10 years on implanting stents, and a Harvard University Healthcare economist speculates that the huge sums of money have resulted in “corrupted practices.”
Interviews with doctors and patients show that corruption in the cardiac stent industry is a growing problem. Whistleblowers report that hospitals have either encouraged or looked the other way when doctors and care providers recommended stents even though the stents were not necessary. Because of this practice, a Stony Brook University School of Medicine estimates that around 1/3 of all cardiac stent procedures that were performed in the United States over the past decade were not medically necessary.
One hospital not only ignored the misuse of stents, but also overlooked reports from co-workers about a provider who was botching surgeries because the provider was making so much money for the hospital. The provider ultimately killed a patient while implanting a stent, as the hospital allowed him to continue to work even after receiving at least seven complaints from nurses.
Patients Need to Protect Themselves
The flood of money in the cardiac stent industry is not likely to go away anytime soon, and unfortunately, there is an incentive for doctors and hospitals to try to make money off of treatments even though these health professionals are supposed to put quality of patient care as a top priority.
Patients who are told they need a cardiac stent should ask lots of questions about the diagnosis and may wish to consult with an experienced medical expert who can provide a second opinion on whether the use of a cardiac stent is the right choice.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations. Call 1-877-313-7673.
More Blog Entries:
New York Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Overseas Surgeries a Risky Venture, New York City Medical Malpractice Lawyer Blog, August 20, 2013