Any form of heart surgery carries the risk of serious complications or even death. Balloon angioplasty is no exception. However, when error or negligence come into play during this critical surgery, as part of treatment or during aftercare it can have devastating consequence. Let’s take a closer look at this important procedure and what can constitute medical malpractice.
Balloon Angioplasty: What Is It?
Balloon angioplasty is a procedure used to open blocked arteries. When arteries get clogged due to fat and cholesterol intake or genetic reasons, there’s an immediate need to open them to prevent the risk of a stroke or a heart attack. In the late 1970s, a new procedure which didn’t involve open-heart surgery was pioneered which was non-invasive and useful for patients suffering from blocked arteries. This treatment was known as balloon angioplasty and was considered the optimal treatment for many diseases such as coronary artery disease, angina and acute myocardial infarctions.
It works on the basis of a balloon-like catheter being inserted into one of the main arteries: either the radial or the femoral artery. From here, the catheter is pushed to the section of the artery where there is blockage. Once it reaches the blockage point, it threads through slowly, thus opening the blockage carefully. However, before the angioplasty is done, the doctor should do a cardiac catheterization which involves inserting some contrast dye to check the level of artery blockage. When the blockage is quite severe, doctors also fix a wire stent through the balloon catheter so that the artery stays open.
Risks Involved With Balloon Angioplasty
There are quite a few risks which need to be taken into account by your doctor if you’re undergoing balloon angioplasty. Some of the major risks involve blood clots forming at the blockage site, extensive bleeding, artery damage, recurring stenosis, renal failure and even arrhythmias. To reduce these risks, your doctor needs to perform all the necessary diagnostic tests and the procedure itself with proper care and attention.
Medical Malpractice Caused By Negligence
Many doctors in this field perform balloon angioplasties regularly, which is one of the main reasons why the standard of care may fall. Routine procedures may make healthcare professionals relaxed about a procedure and lax about the standard of care, which is often when mistakes are made.
Some of the major issues where medical malpractice may occur in balloon angioplasty encompass errors made during the procedure, poor monitoring of the patient’s condition before and after the procedure and error in giving anesthesia. Some doctors also fail to treat conditions that may arise as a complication of the procedure, thus putting themselves at fault for the risk to the patient.
Have you or a loved one experienced complications due to balloon angioplasty that you believe may have been medical malpractice? Contact Rasmussen and Miner today to arrange for a personalized consultation with an experienced malpractice attorney.