Patient Develops Fatal Blood Clots Following Cardiac Ablation Procedure

    Ablation Expert

    This case involves a 52-year-old male patient in the recovery unit following an ablation procedure for atrial fibrillation. When the patient met the appropriate recovery criteria, his sheath was removed. Upon removal, the patient’s blood pressure began to drop drastically. The decision was made to administer bolus saline. Shortly thereafter, the patient developed a hematoma in the right leg. He coded and passed away within a few days of the ablation procedure. An expert nurse with experience caring for post-cardiac ablation patients in a hospital setting was sought to determine whether the standard of care was followed.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please briefly describe your experience serving as a nurse to post-cardiac ablation patients in a hospital setting.
    • 2. What percentage of your practice is dedicated specifically to post-cardiac ablation nursing?

    Expert Witness Response E-056108

    I worked as an electrophysiology nurse for 7 years at a renowned referral center for electrophysiology procedures. Our center was among the first to do catheter ablations for atrial fibrillation. For 5 of those years, I managed two electrophysiology labs and an outpatient pacemaker/ICD clinic. We were one of the first electrophysiology labs to do procedures of pulmonary vein isolation for patients with A-fib. I have lectured on this topic at electrophysiology heart rhythm society conferences and collected data for the physicians I worked with related to the success of these ablations. I am currently pursuing a doctorate degree in nursing and my research is in this procedure to alleviate atrial fibrillation.  75% of my time is spent directly caring for cardiac ablation patients both pre-op and post-op.

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