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Examples of Heart Surgery Medical Errors


According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. This medical condition kills 647,000 people every year, which is around 1 in 4 of all deaths. While a combination of medication and lifestyle changes can alleviate certain types of heart disease, surgery may be the only option for some patients. Any procedure involving the delicate tissues of the heart can be extremely complicated, so even a slight error can cause life-threatening or fatal complications.

Despite the complexities of heart surgery, a physician must still adhere to generally accepted standards of care. Any deviation can lead to serious bodily harm, for which you may be able to recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim. It is important to talk to a Florida surgical errors lawyer right away if you believe you were hurt by any of these heart surgery mistakes.

Angioplasty Errors: If you suffer from coronary artery disease or related heart issues, or have experienced a heart attack, your physician may recommend this procedure. During an angioplasty, the surgeon inserts a balloon catheter into a main artery. Your doctor will then inflate the balloon to open up the blood vessel, allowing blood to flow. The surgery is usually considered routine, but errors could lead to:

  • Internal bleeding, such as when the surgeon overinflates the balloon;
  • A release of plaque into the main artery, which can lead to blockage and restricted blood flow;
  • Blood clots or embolism;
  • Coronary artery damage;
  • Stroke; or,
  • Many other complications.

Cardiac Ablation Errors: This procedure is intended to correct a faulty circuit between sections of the heart and other parts of the cardiopulmonary system. The surgery involves insertion of a needle into a vein, along with technology that guides a catheter into the heart. From there, the surgeon can pinpoint damaged heart tissue and destroy cells that impede the electrical disconnect. Mistakes during a cardiac ablation may include:

  • Damage to veins or arteries;
  • Trauma to the heart’s electrical system;
  • Puncture of heart tissues; and,
  • Infection.

Errors in Performing Coronary Bypass Surgery: When a patient’s blood flow is blocked to the point where other procedures would be ineffective, a physician may recommend bypass surgery. The first step is to implement medical equipment that takes over to enable blood and oxygen flow throughout the procedure. Then, the surgeon removes a blood vessel from elsewhere in the body and replaces the blocked vessel with the healthy tissue.

Bypass surgery can be extremely invasive, involving multiple incisions from the removal and insertion points – as well as a graft procedure when connecting the new blood vessel. The most common surgical error is accidentally slicing nearby tissue.

Talk to Our Florida Heart Surgery Errors Attorneys About Your Options 

If you sustained injury due to an error by a heart surgeon, it is important to speak to our team at Freidin Brown, P.A. right away. We can review your circumstances and advise you on your legal options, so please contact our Miami surgical errors lawyers to set up a free consultation today.




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