When Bruce Peterson left the U.S. Postal Service after 24 years delivering mail, he started a travel agency. It was his dream career, his wife Shirlee said.
Then he went to see cardiologist Samuel DeMaio for chest pain. DeMaio put 21 coronary stents in Peterson’s chest over eight months, and in one procedure tore a blood vessel and placed five of the metal-mesh tubes in a single artery, the Texas Medical Board staff said in a complaint. Unneeded stents weakened Peterson’s heart and exposed him to complications including clots, blockages “and ultimately his death,” the complaint said.
DeMaio paid $10,000 and agreed to two years’ oversight to settle the complaint over Peterson and other patients in 2011. He said his treatment didn’t contribute to Peterson’s death.
“We’ve learned a lot since Bruce died,” Shirlee Peterson said. “Too many stents can kill you.”
Peterson’s case is part of the expanding impact of U.S. medicine’s binge on cardiac stents -- implants used to prop open the arteries of 7 million Americans in the last decade at a cost of more than $110 billion.
When stents are used to restore blood flow in heart attack patients, few dispute they are beneficial. These and other acute cases account for about half of the 700,000 stent procedures in the U.S. annually.
Among the other half -- elective-surgery patients in stable...
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Deaths Linked to Cardiac Stents Rise as Overuse Seen
Cardiovascular claims that are deemed compensable are costly medical and pharmaceutical claims. The procedures are expensive an risky and the pharmaceutical maintenance and monitoring is lifelong and expensive.Today's post is shared from Bloomberg.com
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