Monday, June 29, 2009


The attorney general's office of Lafayette, Louisiana, USA, has announced that Dr M Patel, has been convicted and sentenced to 10 years jail having been found guilty of performing unnecessary angioplasties and implanting unnecessary stents. It is indeed a sad day. Dr Patel is a well trained interventionist, respected in his community. It is always sad to hear that one of our doctors have been found guilty of committing a crime. Apparently, complaints were lodged by some of his patients who discovered that they had stents implanted in what were apparently normal arteries or arteries with minimal disease. He was also found guilty of falsifying case notes and documents, stating that patients had chest pains when they did not have and also filed false insurance reports.
I am posting this hoping that our local interventionist will take note and also that patients will take care, when they consult their doctors, to always ask relevant questions to see if treatment and procedures recommended by doctors, are necessary, or also discuss the pros and cons of all procedure, especially when the procedures carry a risk.Interventional cardiology, as a discipline is particularly prone to abuse, because the same doctor who first sees the patient, is also usually the one who performs the non-invasive test that decides the need to do the invasive coronary angiogram, which also usually results in the in his interpretation and conclusion that the patient needs an angioplasty or coronary intervention. As many had claimed ( when we discuss such issues ) that we are the judge, jury and also executioner. This then can result in abuse.
I always advice my patients that in all medical treatment strategy, if the condition is an emergency, you must trust the doctor who came to take care of the emergency and depend on his advice to carry out the emergency treatment. ( An emergency is defined as a situation that requires emergency treatment, otherwise the condition can result in death, like perforated appendicitis, cerebral hemorrhage, acute heart attack, etc ). In all elective situation ( like patient who walks in for a consult ), whenever an invasive strategy is advised, always ask if the treatment is necessary and if you can have a second opinion. It will be good, to make such request, in a very polite and non-offensive manner. It is the right of all patients to have a second opinion, if they wish and no medical doctor should be offended.
Maybe, by doing that, we can avoid abuses and certainly we hope not to see another Dr Patel, go to jail. It is bad for him, his family, his patients and also for the profession.

1 comment:

Brate said...

When it comes to heart, nothing should be ignored. From your description, it seems that you are inviting a bigger problem (though not so recent) in your life. There can be many cases where you may feel such palpitations. Many diseases like Arrhythmias , Sinus Tachycardia , mitral valve prolapses, PVCs. I am not trying to frighten you, but make you aware of the situation.

Arrhythmias shows the symptoms of disorder of regular rhythmic beating of heart. And this can occur in a healthy heart and be of minimal consequence. And if this is the case, it indicates the serious problem and lead to heart disease, stroke or even a sudden cardiac death.

Sinus tachycardia is a disease where a person has a heart beat rate above 100. This is generally found in many people. Not so serious, but worth noting.

Having a blocked artery is something really very serious issue. You cannot take that lightly, and I seem your doctor is doing the same. There is nothing to feel confused. You are really in a big problem if you are having any artery blockage. This is quite good that your doctors are moving fast in your case, otherwise sometimes it happens to be exactly opposite, they usually tends to be so slow that we really feel very angry on them. I had got a similar experience in my medical checkup at Elite health medical centre at Los Angeles. They really gave a very good amount of attention to my health problems. I got these entire tests you described in same chronological order. But everything was just as fine as it could possibly be. I was found to be having a problem in the atrial valve, which is taken care of now. But the overall experience I have with all these test was quite satisfying. You can get some very good information on advanced diagnostic test of heart disease from