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Medical malpractice lawsuits involving pacemakers settled

Sometimes Maryland residents seek the help of medical professionals for routine medical procedures, only to later suffer unforeseen side effects or medical complications. At other times, they may suffer what they feel to be unnecessary pain while in the care of a medical professional. In other circumstances, a doctor may have failed to correctly diagnose a serious underlying condition during an earlier visit. If any of the above are the case, medical malpractice may have occurred.

In a series of recent out-of-state medical malpractice cases, it was found that unwitting patients unnecessarily agreed to receive pacemakers and were informed that, in the event they did not, they could die while heading home.  The lawsuits were against a cardiologist at a small hospital who was accused of implanting unnecessary pacemakers. It was estimated that the series of settlements was worth millions of dollars.

Thirty-five former patients of the cardiologist sued him, two local hospitals and an American subsidiary of a medical device company located in Germany. The suits alleged that the doctor persuaded his patients by leading them to believe that if they did not have pacemakers or defibrillators surgically implanted that day, they could potentially die on the way home. Most went forward with the operation without even getting a second opinion, as the doctor had them sign an acknowledgment form that they could potentially die on the way home.

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to meet the established standards of care in his or her area of medicine. A case is valid when it meets two separate requirements -- the negligence or malpractice was perpetrated by a doctor, nurse, hospital or other health care provider and the act directly resulted in the injury, disability, pain and suffering or death of the victim. An experienced Maryland personal injury attorney is typically consulted to assess the validity of such a claim.

Source: abqjournal.com, "Suit claiming unneeded implants of pacemakers, other devices is settled", Colleen Heild, Jan. 2, 2017

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