Implantation of Wrong Heart Valve

Filed under Surgical Errors

The Knops Case

Our client, a forty year old mother of 5 with persistent chest pain, was diagnosed with a thickened heart valve (mitral valve stenosis) and referred to a major Pittsburgh medical center for implantation of a mechanical artificial heart valve.

Rather than relieving her mitral valve stenosis, our client’s condition worsened immediately and continued to deteriorate over the next 8 years until she was bed ridden, on oxygen, and living in a hospital bed in her living room She was cared for by her husband and children. She had over three dozen hospital admissions, underwent multiple cardiac evaluations and was finally told by her Pittsburgh surgeons and cardiologists that she was in terminal pulmonary and heart failure.

She self-referred to a heart transplant hospital where repeat testing revealed that her cardiac problems were caused by the surgeon implanting a too-small mechanical heart valve 8 years before. A new valve fully restored her health and her heart activity level. Suit was filed against the surgeons for implanting the wrong valve and against the cardiologists for discovering the error but not informing the patient.

The case settled for a substantial sum.

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Publisher: Harry S. Cohen and Associates, P.C.