A Chicago Injury Lawyer Discusses the Risks of Heart Catheterization

March 21, 2013

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans. At the first sign of heart problems, we turn to a cardiologist for help. In order to diagnose and determine the best treatment for a heart condition, cardiologists often order a cardiac catheterization procedure. While necessary for many, the procedure is not without risks including the following:

  • Excessive bleeding at the site where the catheterization tube enters the artery
  • Potential blood clots in the arm or leg, which may lead to amputation
  • Internal bleeding into the abdomen in the event the artery is during the procedure


A cardiac catheterization procedure serves as a vital diagnostic tool to evaluate the condition of the heart. However, if a patient comes into the emergency room with symptoms that mimic a heart condition, such as indigestion, or abnormal, yet inconclusive, stress test results, this test may be unnecessary and extremely risky.

Sometimes, during a diagnostic cardiac catheterization procedure, doctors find a narrow or blocked artery. They are often able to clear the blockage right away using arterial stents. This procedure, while it can be life saving, also carries risks such as the following:

  • Equipment could cause a clogged blood vessel, which may block necessary oxygen from the heart
  • Equipment could puncture the coronary artery
  • Patients could experience complications including heart attack, stroke, and death. According to one study, one or two out of every 100 patients experience complications.
  • Stents can cause a build-up of scar tissue at their location. They can also cause blood clots to develop, which could cause a massive heart attack.


If you recently had a cardiac catheterization procedure, and suffered injuries afterwards, you may be the victim of medical negligence. Only an experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney at Lane Brown can evaluate the details of your injuries, consult with qualified medical professionals, and determine if you have a legal claim. Call us today at 312-332-1400 for a free case evaluation. We are here to help.



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