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Middle-aged man who could not afford an angioplasty


Coronary artery disease managed by percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) has been noted for profit-driven overuse medicine. Concerns mount over inappropriate use of PCI for patients in India. We describe the case of a 55-year-old Indian man who presented for a second opinion following an urgent recommendation for PCI by two cardiologists following a recent acute myocardial infarction even though the patient was symptom-free and out of the window period for primary PCI. The proposed intervention placed the patient at financial risk for insolvency. This case report highlights the challenges and consequences of inappropriate overuse of PCI. Also, we outline the current lack of shared decision-making among patients and physicians for the PCI procedure. The challenges, inherent in the assumptions that overuse of PCI is evidence-based, are discussed including recommendations for the practice of evidence based medicine for this intervention.

  • interventional cardiology
  • ischaemic heart disease
  • ethics
  • healthcare improvement and patient safety
  • medical management

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