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Medical Malpractice: To keep its Cath Lab running, a Negligent Hospital paid a high price for an unqualified surgeon who butchered multiple patients and killed one while performing unnecessary stent procedures

stent.jpgMedical Malpractice related to Cath Lab procedures are on the rise as overuse of Cardiac Stents lead to an increase of deaths linked to this type of procedure.

In a recent article on Bloomberg, Sydney P. Freedberg, describes the shocking extreme the administrators at Satilla Regional Medical Center in Waycross, Georgia went to in order to keep their cath lab operating and producing revenue.

Because of its remote location, the hospital was unable to attract competent cardiovascular surgeons. In order to keep their cath lab running the administrators paid an extravagant salary to a non qualified surgeon, Dr. Azmat whose only experience with cardiac stents was a two weekend course experimenting on cadavers and pigs.

When the surgeon started to operate and butcher patients, administrators completely ignored multiple complaints and warnings from nurses until the worst happened. Ruth Minter, a mother of five died after the surgeon perforated her kidney during a stent procedure that experts said was unnecessary.

After the death of Ruth Minter federal investigators found more than 30 patients who received “worthless,” poor or unnecessary care from Dr. Azmat.

Stents are metal mesh devices that have been used to prop open the arteries of 7 million Americans in the last decade at a cost of more than $110 billion. 70,000 stent procedures are being performed in the US every year. Half of them are used to restore blood flow in patients following a heart attack and their benefits are indisputable. The other half are used in elective-surgery patients in stable condition and are often linked to overuse, wrongful death, personal injury and fraud.