Friday, March 4, 2011

Question of excessive medical procedures in Westmoreland

Pittsburgh injury lawyers have learned that the unnecessary medical procedure issue, specifically excessive cardiac stent procedures, has now hit Western Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Tribune Review broke the story yesterday that Westmoreland Hospital determined that two of its cardiologists implanted coronary stents in at least 141 patients who may not have needed them. Read the full article here.

This all started in early 2010 when “several unidentified physicians alerted [Westmoreland] hospital officials about a pattern of excessive stent use in the cardiac catheterization laboratory,” according to news reports. The hospital initiated an external review of the 7 cardiologists and 2 interventional radiologists who implanted stents at the hospital. The first preliminary review was completed in December and raised concerns about excessive stent implantation by two cardiologists, Ehab Morcos and George Bousamra. The two doctors allegedly resigned their privileges at the hospital on January 12 when they were asked about the results of the review.

Westmoreland hospital then investigated all 753 cases performed in 2010 by the 2 cardiologists. The review, performed by 8 independent cardiologists, found that 149 stents had been implanted unnecessarily in 141 people. The hospital has now hired an ”internationally recognized university” to provide quality control for the Westmoreland cath lab.

The Pittsburgh Trib Review now reports here that the two doctors in question, who had relocated to Forbes Regional Hospital, are presently having their qualifications vetted by Forbes personnel.

I think there are two big issues here. First, did the doctors, in fact, perform unnecessary stent procedures? And second, what are the risks for persons that have received unneeded stents? Not to mention the lack of possible injuries sustained by the patients as a result of the cardiac stents. I will discuss both issues in future posts. Share this post :
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