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Errors in Pacemaker Implantation

Ocala Lawyers Helping Victims of Medical Malpractice

Pacemakers are electronic devices that doctors implant into a patient's body in order to try to restore a normal heartbeat. A pacemaker can help a patient with an irregular heartbeat. Implantation of a pacemaker is a routine surgical procedure undergone by millions of people, but this does not mean that every procedure is free from error. If you suffer harm due to an error in pacemaker implantation, you should contact the skilled Ocala medical malpractice lawyers at the Dean Law Firm to determine whether you may have a claim.

Claims Arising from Errors in Pacemaker Implantation

There are multiple heart conditions that are helped with the implantation of a pacemaker. For example, a pacemaker may be appropriate for someone who has the abnormally slow heartbeat of bradycardic arrhythmias or someone with the inconsistently paced heartbeats of tachy-brady syndrome. The pacemaker can also help patients with heart block. By normalizing the heartbeat with a pacemaker, a cardiologist can help a patient have an improved quality of life.

There are inherent risks to pacemaker implants. A doctor may make an error that can cause a complication, but in some cases, complications happen even though the doctor acted within the standard of care. An error could include the perforation of an artery while trying to implant the pacemaker. This could result in a stroke, shock, bleeding, an infection, or a collapsed lung. It could result in a wrongful death.

Sometimes a pacemaker is implanted improperly so that it causes pain, fever, or sepsis. The patient may need to go through another invasive procedure to fix the implantation. There may be unnecessary expenses such as surgeries or additional tests and lost wages from the time necessary to have the procedure done and to recover.

Errors in pacemaker implantation may amount to medical malpractice, in which case you can sue the doctor and other potentially responsible parties, such as a hospital, for your damages. You will need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the doctor or other health care professional owed a professional duty of care, violated the professional standard of care when performing the pacemaker implantation, and caused your injuries. "Preponderance of the evidence" simply means that your version of what happened is more likely true than not.

In most cases, it is necessary for your attorney to retain an expert to evaluate whether there was a violation of the standard of care and whether the violation caused your injuries. You cannot recover damages if you would have suffered the same harm regardless of whether there had been an error.

In some cases, an error during implantation does not occur right away. There may be post-operative bleeding, and a patient is supposed to be monitored for this possibility, as well as to preserve cardiac and respiratory stability. Treatment may also be necessary to avoid other post-implantation problems, such as infections. A failure to provide the appropriate post-implantation care can result in septic shock and potentially organ failure and death. As a spouse or another close family member of someone who dies because of an implantation error, you may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages. Both the estate and the surviving family members can recover for their losses. The estate may obtain lost wages, benefits, funeral and burial expenses that it paid, and the value that the estate could have accrued if the decedent had lived. Family members may be able to recover for loss of companionship and guidance, the value of support and services, and any medical and funeral expenses paid for the decedent.

If the pacemaker itself malfunctions, you may have a product liability rather than a medical malpractice claim. Medical manufacturers may be held liable when a pacemaker has a defect that causes injuries or death. However, a physician might still be held liable for erring in implanting a pacemaker that had already been recalled.

Seek Assistance from an Injury Lawyer in the Ocala Area

At the Dean Law Firm, our experienced Ocala trial attorneys may be able to sue health care providers on your behalf for harm resulting from an error in pacemaker implantation. We serve cardiac patients harmed by medical malpractice in The Villages, Crystal River, and other communities throughout Citrus, Levy, Sumter, Marion, and Lake Counties. Contact us at 352-387-8700 or via our online form for a free case evaluation.