The Eisen Law Firm - Attorneys Focusing Exclusively On Medical Malpractice
3601 Green Rd, Suite 308
Cleveland OH 44122
Call For A Free Consultation

Death Following Stent Procedure Gone Wrong

Confidential Settlement for The Misdiagnosis

Larry Gall was 63 years old when he underwent angioplasty of his right coronary artery. Three stents were placed in his artery during a single procedure. Larry was transferred to the recovery area in apparently good condition. Shortly after his arrival in the recovery area, however, Larry began to complain of chest pain. An EKG demonstrated abnormal ST segment elevation. This abnormal finding should have alerted medical personnel that something was wrong with Larry’s right coronary artery. The most likely explanations for the EKG abnormality and the chest pain were coronary artery spasm or acute occlusion (or closure) of one or more of the recently-placed stents.

Larry was misdiagnosed and should have been given nitroglycerin promptly, as that drug can assist medical personnel in determining whether the problem is spasm, which can be stopped with nitroglycerin, or occlusion, which requires a return trip to the catheterization laboratory for further invasive procedures. Larry was not given nitroglycerin, and his return trip to the cath. lab was delayed significantly. By the time he was “taken back,” Larry’s heart had gone into a very dangerous rhythm (ventricular fibrillation), which required the immediate delivery of shocks to Larry’s heart and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Unfortunately, efforts to resuscitate him and to re-open his occluded right coronary artery failed, and Larry died in the cath. lab.

After suit was filed, the defense took a surprising position. They claimed that during the angioplasty procedure, a microscopic tear was made in the artery wall, which could not have been seen by the cardiologist, but which could explain Larry’s subsequent deterioration. According to the defense, once this process started, nothing could have been done to prevent Larry’s death. Attorney Brian Eisen hired several experts that refuted that theory with medical literature and scientific evidence. Just a few days before trial, the defense withdrew its theory, and a confidential settlement was reached.