A Lake County, Indiana cardiologist is facing two medical malpractice lawsuits by two former patients whom both allege that the cardiologist implanted unnecessary cardiac devices in them. A separate federal whistleblower lawsuit has also been filed against the cardiologist and the hospital where he performed the procedures for allegedly implanting unnecessary defibrillators and pacemakers in patients who did not meet the criteria for the devices.
In one of the Indiana medical malpractice cases, the female patient was treated by the cardiologist for cardiomyopathy. She had a cardiac defibrillator implanted nine months earlier and yet the cardiologist allegedly recommended that an “upgraded” device be implanted by him. The patient subsequently filed a claim with an Indiana Medical Review Panel (a necessary prerequisite for filing medical malpractice cases in Indiana), which consisted of three physicians, alleging that the upgraded device was unnecessary and that the cardiologist was not properly credentialed by the hospital to perform the implant procedure. The doctors on the Medical Review Panel unanimously found that the cardiologist had been negligent in performing the unnecessary upgrade implant surgery, according to media reports.
In the second Indiana medical malpractice claim against the cardiologist, a 25-year-old man had been admitted to the hospital through the emergency department, due to shortness of breath and lower extremity swelling. The cardiologist allegedly failed to attempt conservative medical treatment and management before he recommended the patient undergo a procedure for an implanted cardiac defibrillator. The man filed his claim with an Indiana Medical Review Panel, which unanimously found that the cardiologist committed medical malpractice by recommending the implantable device without first attempting conservative treatment, such as medications, according to media reports.
What Is An Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)?
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small device used to treat arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) that is implanted in the chest or abdomen. The ICD uses electrical shocks to control arrhythmias, which can be life-threatening and may cause sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
The ICD has wires with electrodes on the end that connect to the heart. If the ICD detects an irregular rhythm in the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles), the ICD will cause a low-energy electrical pulse to be produced to restore a regular heartbeat. If the low-energy pulse fails to restore a regular heartbeat or if the ventricles quiver instead of contracting normally, the ICD uses high-energy pulses that last for only a fraction of a second but can be very painful.
What Is The Difference Between An ICD And A Pacemaker?
Pacemakers use low-energy electrical pulses only and are used to treat less dangerous heart arrhythmias, such as those that occur in the atria (the upper chambers of the heart). Most of the newer ICDs can act as both pacemakers and defibrillators.
If you or a loved one may have received an implantable medical device that was unnecessary, you should promptly contact a local medical device claim attorney in your U.S. state who may investigate your medical device claim for you and represent you in a medical device case, if appropriate.
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