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Heart Broken: Patients claim Indiana heart doctor subjected them to unnecessary cardiac procedures

Lawyers for the longtime cardiologist told 13News the doctor provides his patients with quality care. However, several former patients are now alleging malpractice.

Bob Segall

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Published: 9:33 PM CST December 14, 2022
Updated: 9:36 PM CST December 18, 2022

John Pflum says he is grateful to be alive, but he admits there were many days he did not feel that way.

The 70-year-old retired hospital worker says he became suicidal following dozens of cardiac procedures performed by an Indianapolis cardiologist. Medical records show that doctor implanted 41 stents in Pflum's chest.

“I was in and out of the hospital every few weeks for years. Every time, they tell you there’s the danger of death, and that’s in your mind every time,” Pflum told 13News. “It began to wear on me emotionally. It got so bad, I just wanted it over with.”

Pflum and other patients are now speaking out about the longtime cardiologist who, they say, subjected them to unnecessary heart procedures.

That cardiologist, Edward Harlamert, has been treating patients at some of central Indiana’s largest and most well-known hospitals for more than 30 years. His attorneys told 13News, “Dr. Harlamert has always been committed to providing quality care to patients” and he treats those patients “based on their unique circumstances, his expertise and the tools available.”

However, seven former patients (including Pflum) have now filed malpractice complaints against Harlamert, alleging serious issues such as misdiagnosing heart conditions and performing unneeded cardiac procedures that resulted in severe and permanent physical injuries. Heart doctors who reviewed some of those patients’ medical records for 13 Investigates say they are stunned and concerned by what they see.  

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