Cardiac catheterization, which involves the insertion of a catheter into a chamber or blood vessel of the heart for either diagnostic and/or treatment purposes, has become so common throughout the United States that doctors who perform the procedure and patients who receive the procedure often consider cardiac catheterization as an almost routine and uncomplicated procedure. Nonetheless, cardiac catheterization is an invasive, specialized medical procedure that carries some serious risks and complications, including death.
In a recently filed medical malpractice case in Ohio, the medical malpractice lawsuit claims that an Ohio man entered a local hospital to undergo a left heart catheterization to be performed by a doctor who was licensed in Virginia. The medical malpractice claim alleges that the doctor injured the man’s right femoral artery during the catheterization procedure that caused bleeding, which is a known risk and known complication from a cardiac catheterization. The medical malpractice lawsuit claims that the doctor deviated from the standard of care (that is, the doctor committed medical malpractice) by failing to diagnose and repair the damaged femoral artery.
As a result of the findings during the cardiac catheterization, the doctor performed a coronary artery bypass grafting procedure the next day. The medical malpractice claim alleges that medical testing revealed that there had been a significant drop in the man’s hemoglobin and hematocrit levels after the cardiac catheterization but before the coronary artery bypass grafting procedure that indicated that the man was suffering from internal blood loss that should have been investigated and diagnosed before the doctor attempted the grafting procedure the day after he performed the cardiac catheterization.
The coronary artery bypass grafting procedure required the doctor to give the man blood thinners, which allegedly resulted in the increase of the man’s internal bleeding and resulted in his death.
The medical malpractice case filed on behalf of the man’s three sons claims that the doctor failed to realize the significance of the man’s decreasing hemoglobin and hematocrit levels and failed to repeat the blood testing that would have confirmed the man’s internal bleeding that would have led to the doctor diagnosing the source of the internal bleeding and repairing the femoral artery.
Patients rely on the competence and skill of their medical providers to insure their safety and to insure that proper medical care is given in a timely fashion. Patients are often not told of the specific results of blood testing or other medical testing — even if they were told about the results, most patients would not know the significance of the results and must rely on their doctors to timely and appropriately respond to the testing results.
It is doubtful that the Ohio man knew that he was bleeding internally or that blood tests evidently indicated that he had internal bleeding. When his doctor scheduled the man for coronary artery bypass grafting surgery the next day, how would the man have known that the required blood thinners given to him for that procedure would kill him?
If you reasonably relied on the medical advice of your health care providers and your reliance was misplaced, causing you to suffer serious medical complications or injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. The timely advice of a medical malpractice attorney is a critical step in the medical malpractice claim process.
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