Web Editors' Choice 2013

By The Editors - 2013-12-24T19:48:39Z

Photograph by Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg

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Stented to Death

Inserting coronary stents, metal mesh tubes designed to open keep arteries open, is a lucrative procedure for doctors and hospitals that has grown into a $14 billion-a-year business. They're now used routinely in elective patients to prevent heart attacks. What patients often don't know, are the risks that Peter Waldman, Sydney P. Freedberg and David Armstrong report in a series of articles. Their reporting goes from reckless doctors and their patients who died on the operating table to a nationwide view of how stents became a key hospital profit center. They also show the industry's reluctance to admit, despite voluminous evidence, that using stents is ever inappropriate.