Injury During Cardiac Catheterization

July 19th, 2017

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death globally. Because more people die annually from heart disease than from any other cause, it is important to take preventative measures to examine how well your heart is working. Diagnostic procedures and medical tests are commonly performed by medical professionals to monitor the heart and keep people from suffering fatal heart attacks.

Cardiac catheterization, a procedure used to diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions, involves inserting a flexible wire into an artery or vein in your neck or groin, threading this wire through your blood vessels to your heart and, finally, guiding a long, thin tube, called a catheter, over the wire and into coronary arteries, veins or even a chamber of the heart.

Complications of this procedure can include:

  • Creation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel (thrombus), triggering a stroke, heart attack, or other serious problems.
  • Dislodgment of atherosclerotic plaque (plaque rupture) from the interior wall of a blood vessel, triggering a stroke, heart attack, or other serious problems in patients with atherosclerosis (a condition commonly known as “hardening of the arteries”)
  • Damage to blood vessels (the wire or catheter may cut, scrape or puncture a blood vessel as they are threaded to the heart), causing severe bleeding (hemorrhage or hematoma).
  • Accidental placement of the catheter into the wrong artery, vessel, heart chamber or, rarely, into a lobe of the lung.

The use of ultrasound imaging to guide catheter placement and the degree of technical experience greatly influence the incidence of vascular complications. If ultrasound imaging is not used to provide visual guidance during the procedure, or if the doctor performing the catheterization is careless or inexperienced, risks of complication skyrocket. These complications may all fall into the category of medical malpractice. An injury during cardiac catheterization can cause permanent damage or even result in death.

If you or a loved one feel you are the victim of a medical mistake contact The Yost Legal Group today at 1-800-YOST-LAW (800-403-7259). When you call, you will speak with an experienced Baltimore Medical Malpractice attorney absolutely FREE.

We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you will never pay an attorney’s fee up front, and you owe us nothing unless we win your case.