Our firm has experience with handling medical malpractice cases arising out of a cardiac catheterization gone wrong: this very important heart procedure can be safely done, but there are many serious risks of injuries or even death in any cardiac catheterization and we explore issues relating to medical malpractice arising from a cardiac catheterization below.
A cardiac catheterization is a medical procedure used to diagnose and treat a number of heart condition abnormalities. During the cardiac cath procedure a flexible tube and sheath called a catheter is inserted into the patient’s arm, groin or neck and believe it or not is passed through the blood vessels all the way to the heart. Doctors can visualize where the catheter is located and run various diagnostic tests in which dye is inserted into the bloodstream and travels to the heart analyzing weather the dye gets blocked or partially obstructed.
There are many known risks including bleeding, bruising, stroke, heart attack, some damage to the artery where the catheter was inserted and even further risks. But one risk that should not happen is a doctor negligently puncturing, lacerating or cutting through anatomy of the heart tissue rather than passing the catheter inside the heart tissue with the catheter.
In one of our recent medical malpractice cases in Virginia, when the doctor passed the Cardiac catheter through the jugular vein and down to the heart of the patient, the doctor accidentally lacerated portions of the heart anatomy. Although the doctor terminated the procedure and the patient was taken to the intensive care unit, they didn’t appreciate that the doctor had lacerated the heart and open the patient up for immediate open-heart surgery to determine the cause of the life-threatening blood loss. Unfortunately the young patient in question died the same day.
In a second case we are handling, involving a fairly young woman who underwent a cardiac catheterization, the patient died as a result of damage to the medical anatomy of the heart, the damage was not appreciated as quickly as it should have been, And the cardiologist expert witnesses we retained told us that it is doubtful that the cardiac catheterization procedure should have ever been prescribed or done in the first place.