Hancock shortchanges the value of stents

September 27, 2010

Jay Hancock's statement that "Stents do little if any good, even when arteries are blocked…" is over-simplistic and leaves patients with the wrong impression ("Officials slow to probe how many stents are unneeded," Sept. 26). Cardiac stent procedures are an important treatment option for many patients to consider. For example, cardiac stents are a life-saving and necessary medical procedure for individuals with acute myocardial infarction. For other patients with severe artery disease cardiac stenting is a treatment option that can enhance the patient's quality of life.

Trust me, as a trial lawyer and as the past president of the Maryland Association for Justice, I believe that the medical community needs to do a much better job of policing itself. There have been well-publicized abuses of cardiac stenting here in Maryland, and those responsible should be held accountable and go to jail.

That said, it is simply wrong to give the public the impression that cardiac stents are never an appropriate medical procedure. I have clients, friends and family whose lives have been saved by cardiac stent procedures, and know of many others whose quality of life has been enhanced by these procedures as well.

Kevin Goldberg, Silver Spring

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