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Maryland (MD) Heart Surgeon Sued for Implanting More Than 100 Unneeded Stents

A cardiologist who performed heart surgeries at Saint Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Maryland (MD), is facing at least 101 lawsuits from former patients and their health insurance companies for unnecessarily implanting coronary artery stents. According to the Baltimore Sun, Dr. Mehmood Patel is also facing federal and, possibly, state criminal charges for unjustifiably putting patients at risk for heart attacks, strokes and death, as well as defrauding insurers.

Stents -- tiny metal or plastic structures that look like the cages you put in your garden for tomato plants to grow on -- have an important role in heart and cardiovascular care. They help hold open blood vessels to the heart and brain after doctors have cleaned cholesterol and other fatty and plaque-like deposits out of those veins and arteries. Stent use has come under increased scrutiny in the past five years, however, as evidence has emerged that some patients may develop blood clots, arterial bleeds or other complications after receiving the implants.

Patel, and at least two other surgeons in Maryland, allegedly intentionally misdiagnosed circulatory problems and advised dozens of patients who did not need, or should not have received, stents to get the implants. The motive appears to have been financial gain; the result, if the allegations prove true, would be surgical malpractice that threatened patients with debilitating heart attacks and loss of life.

It is unclear how many patients suffered injuries or deaths after receiving the unneeded stents, but merely the possibility that some may have is inexcusable. Patients and their families put a great deal of trust in doctors and surgeons. When health professionals intentionally -- or even accidentally -- violate that trust, it makes impossible for people to stay healthy and enjoy life to its fullest. If prosecutors and investigators do prove that any cardiologists have fraudulently implanted coronary stents, those doctors and surgeons should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and ordered to pay restitution to the patients they harmed. This is the purspose of the malpractice civil law system in Maryland, Virginia (VA), North Carolina (NC) and every other state across America.

EJL
Richard N. Shapiro
Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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