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Western Pa. hospital finds 192 unnecessary stents

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — A western Pennsylvania hospital determined 192 heart patients received artery-opening mesh stents that may not have been medically necessary.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is reporting that Excela Health announced the findings Tuesday for cases at Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg since 2009.

Lawyers have filed 22 class-action lawsuits against the hospital and two heart doctors who resigned their hospital privileges last year after officials determined the doctors may have used stents on 141 patients last year whose arteries were not blocked enough to warrant the procedure. The hospital says it found another 51 patients who may have received unnecessary stents after reviewing 520 cases from 2009.

Hospital officials say they know of no patients harmed by the procedures. One such patient died this year after heart bypass surgery, but hospital administrators couldn't say if the stent contributed to the death.

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Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, http://pghtrib.com

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