Oregon and other states recognize that surgical procedures must be followed by observation and treatment of the surgical site to make sure that everything has been carried out properly. Thus, when a cardiologist implants a pacemaker in the patient's chest, the doctor must be vigilant in following through on the placement and proper functioning of the device. Additionally, the doctor must treat accordingly any secondary symptoms that result from the implantation of the device. In one recent case, a woman in another state accuses a cardiologist of medical malpractice because the doctor implanted a pacemaker but then negligently failed to treat an infection that arose due to the introduction of the foreign object.
The wrongful death lawsuit is filed against the cardiologist and his medical firm for causing the death of the plaintiff's husband by mismanaging the aftermath of the implantation procedure. The suit asserts that the decedent developed an infection directly related to the pacemaker but that the doctor failed to treat appropriately the infection. It is claimed that he also failed to notify the patient's treating physicians of the infection or to make sure that the defibrillator was properly placed in the body.
The patient died from the untreated infection. Procedurally, the case is set for trial in a state court in Indiana. The case is indirectly related to a slew of other malpractice cases brought against this cardiologist and two of his associates. It is alleged that they have performed numerous unnecessary implantations of heart devices and then altered medical records to make it appear that the implants were necessary.
The claims of other patients of the cardiology group now total almost 300. These general types of claims alleging unnecessary medical procedures would be treated in Oregon under the same negligence principles of medical malpractice law that are applicable in the state of origin. The case regarding the failed diagnosis and lack of treatment of a fatal post-operative infection would also be judged by the same legal principles if it originated in Oregon.
Source: nwitimes.com, "Malpractice trial against cardiologist to start Monday", Giles Bruce, Nov. 30, 2015