Our Highland malpractice lawyers know that you count on your doctor to provide treatment based on what is right for you, not based on what is going to result in the biggest payoff for the physician or the hospital. Unfortunately, many patients have undergone unnecessary cardiac stent procedures in the past decade because these types of procedures can result in huge payouts for hospitals.
Every medical procedure carries risks, and these unnecessary and dangerous procedures were often carried out by doctors who lacked both scruples and medical talent. This has resulted in patients dying while having cardiac stents implanted that were not medically necessary.
Big Business in the Cardiac Stent Industry Endangers Patients
The SF Gate reports that $110 billion has been paid out for cardiac stent procedures in the past decade. Money of this magnitude has led to what a Harvard University healthcare economist refers to as “corrupted practices.”
These corrupted practices involve doctors pushing cardiac stents on patients who do not need them while hospitals look the other way as they make their money. Doctors who are dishonest enough to recommend unnecessary heart procedures to patients may also be more likely to provide substandard care, and reports indicate that at least some hospitals have even looked the other way when told that doctors were botching surgeries.
In one case, for example, a hospital was warned by at least seven different nurses and staff members that mistakes were being made by a surgeon implanting cardiac stents. The hospital failed to stop the doctor from either performing surgeries or advising patients they needed stents. The doctor who had provided this substandard care eventually made a mistake serious enough that it allegedly resulted in the death of a patient.
While this may be an extreme case, the Stony Brook University School of Medicine estimated that there were many thousands of patients who had a stent implanted unnecessary. Over the past decade, as many as a third of all the cardiac stent procedures that were performed may not have been medically necessary for the patients.
Can Patients Protect Themselves from Unnecessary Surgeries?
While the cardiac stent industry is one of the biggest moneymakers for hospitals, this is not the only example of a situation where patients have been advised to undergo treatment they don’t need because it is more lucrative for a doctor or hospital.
It is difficult or impossible for patients to prevent this under all circumstances since most people don’t know how to appropriately diagnose and treat their medical condition. One option patients do have, however, is to get a second opinion (and even a third opinion) if they are advised to undergo any type of surgery or invasive medical treatment. By getting multiple opinions, patients decrease the chance that they will end up having a procedure that they don’t really need so a healthcare provider can make more money.
Attorney Burton A. Padove represents malpractice victims. If you or a loved one has been injured, call (219) 836-2200 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
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