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Angiography Error Resulted in Hemiplegia


In 1992, an intern just out of med school was allowed to perform angiography on my wife. He got the catheter tangled in the aortic arch, and failed to realize a "redundancy" was preventing the tip from advancing along the internal carotid. When he tried to correct the redundancy, the tip of the guide wire sprang forward causing a dissected carotid artery. This allowed blood to enter the inner wall of the artery. A clot from this sac later broke loose and lodged in a penetrating artery branching from the middle cerebral artery leading to right side hemiplegia. We spoke to the media many times during the years following the error, including a Senate Committee in 1999 chaired by Arlen Specter.