Recently, I have discussed some of the issues regarding medicine in the past few years such as defensive medicine and needless procedures. More often than not, these two concepts go hand-in-hand. Defensive medicine is being practiced more and more and is costing the already overburdened health care system. This leads to unnecessary procedures which, while obviously costing more money for health care, also can cause harm to patients. For instance and as I discussed last week, the more precautionary X-rays a patient undergoes to rule-out certain conditions, the more radiation they will receive. Yes, if there are any developing conditions, these screenings will help catch these conditions early. However, if there are no conditions—which is more common in many rule-out procedures—it will only do more harm than good.
In the past, I have discussed how stents have been unnecessarily issued and used by many doctors. In fact, it has become the go to for many physicians practicing defense medicine. In an out-of-state hospital, a cardiologist who had performed many stent procedures this year was just sued. The lawsuit comes just days after the cardiologist’s hospital sent letters to 23 patients noting that the stent procedures may have been unnecessary. The 23 individuals were identified after an independent review expert identified them out of a group of 30—yes, 30 (!!!)—who may have had unnecessary procedures conducted on them.
The patient is suing that the procedure was traumatic and expensive, and is bringing a medical malpractice suit against the cardiologist. In addition, the lawsuit goes after the hospital as well alleging that the hospital had known about the cardiologist’s pattern of incompetent or inappropriate behavior in performing these fraudulent medical procedures but still failed to take an internal action.
While stent procedures these days have become significantly more advanced, safer, and overall conducted more efficiently, they can still be incredibly dangerous. The physician is placing a small, mesh piece of metal into an artery of a patient; an extremely risk scenario! While I understand this is done with great accuracy, I have seen or heard of far too many cases which have caused complications, injury, or even death. The less procedures that are conducted, especially because stenting is becoming far too common due to with defensive medicine and unnecessary procedures, the better off patients will be.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.