Medical Negligence Alleged to Have Caused Man's Death During Cardiac Catheterization Procedure

A gentleman died during a cardiac catheterization procedure after being treated for chest pains. Now, a lawsuit has been filed against his medical providers for negligence.

On July 27, 2011, the Arizona father of two children began feeling pain in his chest that radiated down his arm, so he went to the hospital where he was evaluated by an emergency department physician. A decision was made to take the man to the cardiac catheterization laboratory for further treatment.

At the lab, a blockage in the man's left anterior descending artery was identified so the doctor performed a percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty with placement of 3 stents to open the blockage. Following the procedure, the patient continued to experience shoulder pain, chest discomfort, and anxiety. The decision was made to return the patient to the catheterization lab.

During the second cardiac catheterization procedure on July 29, 2011, the doctor inserted a guidewire through the patient's right femoral artery with intent to place the guidewire in a diagonal branch of the patient's left anterior descending artery, which had become blocked by one of the stents placed two days earlier. Although the stent blocked the guidewire from entering the diagonal branch, the doctor continued to try to force the guidewire into the diagonal. This resulted in the guidewire perforating the left anterior descending artery. The perforation was subsequently closed but was reopened when the doctor chose to completely remove the guidewire from the artery. Subsequent efforts to close the perforation failed and the patient died on the table.

The plaintiffs, which include the man's wife and two children, have brought a wrongful death medical malpractice action under A.R.S. § 12-612, claiming that the medical team caused their husband's and father's death when they failed to provide appropriate and reasonable care in the cardiac catheterization lab.

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