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    Internal Bleeding after heart cath
    crownation posted:
    I'm in deep need of answers concerning the very recent loss of my mother. She had a mild heart attack and was taken to a cicu to have a heart cath done. They said it went very smoothly without complications. My mother was awake and talking. I am unsure as of how much time passed (due to a serious lack of communication on the hospitals part) how much time elapsed before they realized she suddenly was loosing blood internally. I was told she lost approximately 6 units + of blood and was NOT taken into emergency surgery for open heart to repair the damage. She was given blood and placed on life support and passed away the next day. She suffered complete renal failure, liver, and heart due to the blood loss. Can someone please explain to me what happened as the hospital has offered no evidence or explanation for the extreme loss of blood. Is this something extremely rare or was the hospital in fact responsible for my mothers death?
    CardiostarUSA1 responded:

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your mother.

    "Is this something extremely rare"

    It's uncommon, considering that each year, more than a million Americans experience a heart attack, and the sheer number of heart catheterizations (angiograms, with or without angioplasty and stent procedures) that directly result from it.

    "Explain to me what happened"

    While this can not be determined/properly addressed via the Internet, unfortunately, various problems or complications, during or after a catheter-based diagnostic or interventional procedure (first time, and especially redos), may/can occur from time-to-time, some unforeseen.

    "Am unsure as of how much time passed (due to a serious lack of communication on the hospitals' part)/Was NOT taken into emergency surgery for open-heart to repair the damage/The hospital has offered no evidence or explanation for the extreme loss of blood"

    Most important, if you suspect medical negligence/malpractice, the standard of care was not met, was breached, ALL of her medical records should be obtained promptly and be thoroughly reviewed by a qualified attorney.

    I do hope you are able to get closure in this extremely sensitive and highly-personal matter.

    Take care,


    WebMD community member (8/99)

    My father was a victim of medical negligence. He had a doctor, that for quite a while, my family thought could do no wrong, then suddenly, the doctor did everything wrong.




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    James_Beckerman_MD responded:
    I'm so sorry to hear about your mother.

    The most common cause of internal bleeding after an angiogram is a retroperitoneal hemorrhage. This results from bleeding from the femoral puncture in the groin that occurs internally. It is typically treated with blood transfusions and intravenous fluids, but in some situations surgery is recommended - this is not typically heart surgery, but rather surgery to fix the femoral artery, will removal of blood in some cases.

    While uncommon, this is a recognized cause of complications from heart catheterizations.

    It is unclear if this applies to your mother, but it is a possible cause.
    condolences responded:
    my condolences to you and your family...

    my mother also went in for a heart cath and within minutes post cath her condition went from alert to terrible. they found a huge retroperitoneal bleed and passed away. unfortuntately, we are two years into a wrongful death lawsuit because we immediately had red flags...her records showed so many errors and the more we are learning in the lawsuit, the more our fears are being confirmed. the hospital from the get-go treated us the same as you have described.

    my heartfelt advice to you is that if you feel so strongly that something terribly wrong occured with your mother, please ask questions, take notes, and if no answers-consult an attorney.
    roshall responded:
    Wow this same thing happened to my mother earlier this month,my family and i feel foul-play is indeed in the mix of things my heart goes out to one and all who suffer this great and seems to me unnecessary loss. Something need to be done with this procedure or the doctors performing and or neglecting to monitor this act.WE NEED ANSWERS FOR A PEACE OF MIND. where can i get some help and answers?????
    cardiostarusa1 replied to roshall's response:

    "My family and I feel foul play is indeed in the mix of things."

    "WE NEED ANSWERS FOR A PEACE OF MIND. Where can I get some help and answers?????"

    As posted previously -

    Most important, if you suspect medical negligence/malpractice, the standard of care was not met, was breached, ALL of her medical records should be obtained promptly and be thoroughly reviewed by a qualified attorney.

    Take care,


    WebMD member (since 8/99)



    WebMD/WebMD forums does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
    Nyladyxo replied to cardiostarusa1's response:
    My mom died Monday after having 2 stents inserted. Was told all went well,she was awake and alert and could be seen soon. I was so happy and called my entire family.After an hr I went to desk and was told docs were still in with her. 1/2 hr later same thing. After approximate another 1/2 hr went back and finally man behind desk went and checked. Shortly after nurse comes out takes me in the dreaded room. Then cardio doc that performed procedure enters and says something went wrong when tube in groin removed.and they were doing CPR for past 20 minutes. I was in shock! they said groin area was heavily bleeding, they gave her something to stop it, clots started popping up, her blood pressure dropped and she went into cardiac arrest. Doc goes in room comes back says he needs to call it as 50 min had past. Comes back to me a few min later says she was alive pulse at 60 or something like that. He ends up putting in pacemaker and balloon thing then tells me she has 40% chance. Meanwhile I am calling all my siblings with each notification, alive, dead, alive etc.what a nightmare! I went outside calling relatives. Go up to ccu and here they are reviving her again. Told after some time she wouldn't last the night, she lost 3 pints of blood and they suspect bleeding in stomach area. We go down to talk to admin. Explaining our horror and get a call to come back up. This time she had died for the final time. I cannot even express how devastated I am. She will be laid to rest tomorrow. How do you tell family everything went well. She's doing great etc then leave me waiting around 2 more hrs only to find out all was not well. I don't know what to do but I know they messed up big time! I was treated so poorly and can only imagine how happy my beautiful mom was to wake up for those few minutes. I live in NY and this was a top city heart center by a international well known doctor. I don't know who to blame, according to him all went well will stents, well whomever inserted that balloon thing during that procedure screwed up and nicked something and cause her death in their carelessness that's my guess and others in medical field that are friends agree 100%. I am so upset I pray something is done to help other families never to experience the horror of what I went through.i want someone held accountable for all this. It's not right! I know there are risks and all but to be told everything went well,then ignored for 2 hrs only to find out my mom was dying was the worst thing I ever experienced in my life
    cardiostarusa1 replied to Nyladyxo's response:

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your mom and the ordeal you had been through. This case definitely warrants a thorough investigation **ASAP (**time is of the essenece to prove that medical malpractice/negligence had occurred) in order to get some closure in the particular matter.

    In general, and unfortunately, besides the inherent risks involved in various cardiac procedures, things can go very bad, or absolute worst case scenario, result in death, as complications can occur (be it negligence or otherwise), some unforeseen.

    "He ends up putting in pacemaker and balloon thing......"

    ......"according to him all went well will stents, well whomever inserted that balloon thing during that procedure screwed up and nicked something and cause her death in their carelessness that's my guess and others in medical field that are friends agree 100%."

    Not sure if that "balloon thing" refers to an intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP, a catheter with a balloon is inserted through the femoral artery in the leg and then fed into the aorta, in which the balloon inflates and deflates cyclically, counterpulsation), which is sometimes used in high-risk angioplasty/stenting cases or as an emergency tactic during the procedure or right after it. Though it carries risks, the use of an IABP increases blood flow to the heart muscle and decreases the heart's workload.

    But if so, and worth mentioning, some years ago, my father had spent a few days connected to one of those (the first one totally crapped out after 20 minutes and the nurses had to scramble to find the only other working one in the facility), and in his particular individualized case, it was quite an unpleasant/disturbing experience (thought he was going to lose a leg due to severely decreased circulation caused by the pump, complaining of horrible continuous pins and needles effect), and worse yet, it was determined later on that it was not really needed at all.

    Take care,

    rabherself82 responded:
    This is Rachel Brown. Please look for me on facebook or email me at I am in the middle of legal action regarding my mother passing at 48 after a heart cath. She also had internal bleeding and organ failure but lived a few months. Please...get in touch with me.
    condolences replied to roshall's response:
    are you getting any answers? so very sorry to hear that other people are experiencing such trauma. i feel the same as you...
    condolences replied to Nyladyxo's response:
    so very sorry to hear your story...your story is similar to our own.
    condolences responded:
    have you gotten any closer to the truth as time goes on?
    rabherself82 replied to condolences's response:
    Ty to all the people concerned for her and her questions. This is so hard to deal with. This is tragic and our first Christmas without her was saddening. I feel for her and her tragic situation. I wanted to help with steps on getting her started on a lawsuit. God Bless you all.
    James Beckerman, MD, FACC responded:
    I'm so sorry for your loss. Internal bleeding from heart catheterizations is an uncommon, but potentially extremely serious risk of the procedure. Best wishes to you and your family during this time.
    CherylKay replied to James Beckerman, MD, FACC's response:
    After reading of these terrible tragedies, I guess I should count myself among the lucky ones. I had a heart attack followed by cardiac cath and stent placement two and half years ago. All went well until I began to feel faint. I told my nurse and she immediately knew something was wrong. They wasted no time getting a CT of my abdomen, which showed a retroperitoneal bleed, and a rather large one. I was rushed off to the CICU, where I received two units of whole blood. Thankfully, the bleeding stopped on its own. But the pain from that bleed remains the most pain I've ever felt. I'm thankful that the problem was taken care of promptly and that I didn't need surgery to stop the bleed. Of coure, it complicated my recovery and delayed my rehab. But I'm grateful to still be here. I was 49 when this happend and was in pretty good shape. Maybe that's a factor in my recovery. Whatever the reason, I suspected that something went amiss when the cardiologist place the collogen plug in my femoral artery. Because of scar tissue from a very old hernia operation (I was born with it) I don't think he could enter the femoral artery in the best place and may have had to go further down than he would have liked. Also the sheath may have been removed too soon. My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones. Since the deaths from the bleeding involved mothers, I wonder if being female makes one more predisposed to complications of this sort?

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