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Research into clinical trials of treatment for heart disease, specifically “left main disease” has been criticised for ignoring ‘key data’ about test subjects. A trial started in 2011 and partially sponsored by a US based firm that manufactured stents, aimed to find out if the use of stents (small tubes inserted into collapsed or blocked arteries to improve blood flow) was more effective than open heart surgery. 
 
The criticism arises from the fact that data collected and published using only data over the first three years post-treatment. Meaning that if a patient died three years and one day after their treatment, it would not be counted in the study. As this type of treatment is a major one, with the aim of saving and significantly prolonging life, medical experts have been highly critical of the study as the short period of time the results have been based on, offers insufficient insight into the long-term effectiveness of each treatment. 
 
Outside experts looking at the figures argued that as the research was partially funded by a company that manufactures stents, it would be in their interest to produce the most favourable, or at least equally favourable, results for insertion of stents compared to open heart surgery. The sponsor has denied any bias, stating that the results have been reviewed in line with the Trial’s criteria. 
Due to the disagreement, the European Society of Cardiology was called into to review the results and it has been reported that, over a longer period, the mortality rate of those with stents inserted over open heart surgery patients, was indeed, higher. 
 
The main criticism drawn by the study is that new guidelines for treatment were already being written based on the apparently flawed trial data, which could lead to patients receiving an inaccurate recommendation for treatment. Professor Nick Freemantle, a biostatician at University College London, has given an interview openly condemning the research and pressing for a fully independent review of the Trial data in full. 
 
This argument continues and appears unlikely to be resolved soon. It is, of course, upon these types of Trial that new medical procedures become common and upon which the new guidelines are written. When giving advice for treatment, of any kind, to a patient a doctor will have to match their patient, their condition or illness against the best treatment for them using the guidelines. Only when a patient has had their condition explained to them, the treatment options and the benefits and drawbacks of the same described to them as well as any known risks, can the patient be said to be in a position to give “informed consent”. 
 
Should you not be given enough information to make a decision, you have not been permitted to give informed consent and should your treatment result in injury or a worsening in your condition, you may be entitled to make a claim against the practitioner or medical practice/hospital where the treatment took place. This claim would be a medical negligence claim, which is something MG Legal, your local solicitor Longridge, is instructed to pursue on a regular basis. 
 
A medical negligence claim can arise from any type of treatment provided by a medical professional, which subsequently results in an injury, a worsening of your condition or even a failure of the current one to recover. Should you believe this to be the case, please contact MG Legal, your local solicitor Longridge, to discuss your medical negligence claim and we will look to assess your case and pursue the negligent party. We look to accept all personal injury cases on the basis of a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee agreement) to ensure you have access to our services whatever your situation.  
 
You can contact MG Legal, your local solicitor Longridge, by phone, email, web-contact form or by dropping into our Longridge, Garstang or Lancaster offices in person and we will put you in touch with the right member of our team to assess and advise you on your claim straight away. 
 
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