Drug-Coated Stents FAQ

Q: What is a stent?

A: A stent refers to the small lattice-shaped in the form of metal or plastic tube which is inserted permanently into an artery or blood vessel. The stent is developed to open an artery that becomes very narrow because of atherosclerosis, a health condition where the plaque accumulates on the inner wall of the artery and hinders the smooth flow of the blood. Stents are placed inside the coronary or heart artery after the balloon angioplasty method to avoid restenosis, or the re-closing or r-blocking of the artery.

Q: What is a drug-coated stent?

A: A drug-coated stent, which is also known as “drug-eluting”, releases gradually the drugs that have the ability to prevent arterial scarring and lower the chances of restenosis.

Q: Is there any updates about the drug-coated stent?

A: The latest announcement last September 14, 2006, by the US Food and Drug Administration was that they are monitoring the drug-coated stents since they have entered the US market in 2003 and 2004, and will always do. There are new information that suggests that there is little but very significant risks of stent thrombosis or the blood clotting the stent. However, the FDA does not have sufficient to make any conclusive decisions about these potential risks and causes of stent thrombosis.

Q: Are drug-coated safe for human use?

A: The FDA claims that coronary drug-coated stents continues to be safe and effective when they are used with indications approved by US-FDA. There will be a public panel meeting of outside scientific experts is scheduled to review all the recent information and data, and to make recommendations about the steps that should be taken.

Q: Is there any risks related with drug-coated stent placemnt?

A: The potential risks of stents and stent placement includes the following:

  • Infections
  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding
  • Rupture of the duct or vessels when the stent is being inserted
  • Stent migration, or the moving of the stent out of place
  • Allergic reactions to stent materials
  • Allergic reactions to the drug used in the drug-coated stent
  • In-stent restenosis, a condition where the interior of the stent becomes clogged

Other uncommon complications of coronary stent may include:

  • Heart attack
  • Chest pain
  • Rupture of the blood vessels

Q: Who should not go through the procedure that involves drug-coated stent placement?

A: Drug-coated stents may not be recommended for patients who suffered from a recent heart surgery,  or women who are nursing their babies or are pregnant. Stents should not be applied in patients who cannot tolerate angioplasty, or those who are sensitive or allergic to stent materials. They should not also be used in patients who cannot be put on blood thinning or anti-platelet procedures. The safety and effectiveness of the drug-coated stent have not been studied yet in patients who have blockage in a heart by-pass graft, those who have suffered from heart attack, had previously experienced intravascular radiation procedure.

Q: What should I do if I think I have been injured by the drug-coated stent?

A: If you or any of your family members go through the procedure where drug-coated stent has been implanted, and as a consequence experiencing any uncommon health problems, contact your doctor right away. Then, you can look for an experienced lawyer to discuss your legal options for the injury you have sustained because the drug-coated stent.

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