Due to health problems, individuals often need to undergo a procedure known as angioplasty which is designed to unclog arteries that are blocked due to a build–up of plaque caused by a condition called atherosclerosis. This condition causes artery walls to thicken, which makes it difficult for blood to effectively flow through the artery. During angioplasty, drug–eluting stents are often placed in the individual’s arteries in an effort to ensure that the arteries do not become blocked again. Drug–eluting stents are mesh tubes coated with a slow–release medication that are inserted into the arteries. Bare metal stents are often used during this procedure as as well, but scar tissue sometimes grows over the stent and again blocks the blood flow through the artery. Drug–eluting stents are designed to help prevent the growth of scar tissue in the lining of the artery.
While many individuals with heart problems and other medical conditions that require the use of drug–eluting stents have been successfully treated using these types of stents, a small number of individuals have suffered from myocardial infarction (heart attack) due to a blood clot in the stent. The blood clot is thought to be a result of stent thrombosis related to the use of drug–eluting stents. Researchers believe that drug–eluting stents may increase the risk of stent thrombosis in some individuals. A great number of the individuals that suffered stent thrombosis as a result of drug–eluting stents either experienced a heart attack or died as a result of the stent thrombosis. While every case of stent thrombosis due to the use of drug–eluting stents during angioplasty may not meet the criteria for medical malpractice, victims that were injured as a result of stent thrombosis may want to have their case reviewed by an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
Medical malpractice occurs when physicians fail to provide proper and adequate medical treatment to their patients by failing to abide by the medical community’s accepted standards of patient care. Prior to performing any medical procedures physicians should be aware of their patient’s medical history and any health complications that might put them at risk for further injury, diminished quality of life because of the procedure, or death as a result of the medical procedure. If patients have health conditions that would make them more susceptible to stent thrombosis if drug–eluting stents are placed in their arteries during angioplasty, the physician performing the operation would be negligent to perform a procedure that could cause these patients to suffer a heart attack or death. A medical malpractice attorney can review the individual’s medical and treatment history to determine if the physician’s course of treatment was negligent based on the individual’s medical history. If medical malpractice has been committed, the victim may be entitled to financial compensation for their additional medical expenses and pain and suffering.