ClickCease Kaiser - Heart Catheterization Mistake / Death | Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger

Kaiser – Heart Catheterization Mistake / Death

Walkup attorneys negotiated an $850,000 settlement of claims brought by a deceased patient’s wife and two adult children for the wrongful death of a 56-year-old engineer following arterial rupture during a routine angioplasty. The patient presented to Kaiser South San Francisco’s ER complaining of chest tightness and chest pressure. He received nitroglycerin, quickly stabilized and was determined to be a suitable candidate for cardiac catheterization, which was performed later that day at Kaiser San Francisco. The patient elected angioplasty procedure over bypass surgery. The stent did not expand fully against the vessel wall, though, so the doctor replaced the balloon with a slightly larger, non-compliant type, and inflated it to a higher pressure. This attempt was also unsuccessful, as was the second effort to expand the stent. A third effort was made, after which the patient began complaining of chest pains. Some 10 minutes later, a perforation in the left anterior descending coronary artery was recognized, and the patient’s vital signs collapsed. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. The member alleged that the stent used in the procedure was too large and that the doctor doing the procedure did not have adequate experience. The settlement, in this case, included the statutory maximum amount allowed under MICRA for non-economic damages, as well as compensation for lost wages.