Anytime a patient needs a stent, there are some major medical issues at play and in consideration. Normally this is because of a stroke or heart attack due to a blockage cause by plague preventing blood flow. Typically, a stent is placed or used in a procedure generally known as an angioplasty. This is where a surgeon guides a catheter up a blood vessel to the arteries surrounding the heart and to a blockage. Once at the blockage, the surgeon can do a few things like use a stent.
A stent is a small tube that acts like a support to the artery. It opens up the artery and keeps it from blocking. The stent expands to the size of the artery and holds it open. As you recover, the artery heals around the stent. Generally, the stent is made of metal and is permanent. But it can also be made of a material that your body will slowly absorb over time. Some stents even contain medication which can heal the artery over time.
While stents are great medical advancements and tools for physicians, they can still be involved in medical malpractice lawsuits. One of the most common medical errors involving stents is actually placing too many or placing unnecessary stents. That is, over treatment and unnecessary treatment while using stents. While the use of a stent is not going to cause damage in and of itself, unnecessarily placing the stent does place a burden on the healthcare system, can result in other harm such as infection or damage during the procedure, and can result in other complications and errors which is noted below.
One such complication or error is the death of a patient. This procedure is being done to mitigate or prevent a blockage, but if pieces of the blockage break off and travel to the lungs or brain, it can result in the death of a patient. Moreover, improperly addressing the blockage could allow it to just travel a small distance rather than be properly dissolved and neutralized.
Another medical error is when the tools used in the procedure cause damage. This could be when the catheter pierces the artery and causes uncontrollable bleeding. The catheter could also pierce other vital organs including the heart. Infections could be introduced by the catheter or stent if they were not properly sterilized. When installing the stent by inflating it, applying too much pressure could also rupture the arteries.
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