Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo[/caption] When people think of surgical malpractice, they often think of surgical “never events” (such a medical device left inside the patient), infections, or anesthesiology problems, but in some cases, surgical malpractice may involve an unnecessary surgery. Studies show that each year $700 billion is spent on unnecessary tests and treatments, and, as we reported, arthroscopic knee surgery – one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures, with 700,000 such procedures performed each year at an estimated cost of $4 billion – is frequently unnecessary. Not only are unnecessary procedures costly, but they can also expose patients to additional medical risks. For instance, CT scans may increase a person’s lifetime risk of cancer and the dyes from CT scans and MRIs can cause kidney failure. Additionally, an unnecessary surgery can expose a patient to additional risks associated with being in the hospital. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, every 1.7 million people catch an infection in the hospital, such as pneumonia, surgical site infections, urinary infections from catheters, and bloodstream infections from IVs. In some cases, hospital-acquired infections involve antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can be deadly, especially to those with weakened immune systems. In many cases, unnecessary surgeries happen because a doctor lacks adequate education or patient information to make an informed recommendation. In some cases, however, greed is the cause of unnecessary tests and procedures when unscrupulous doctors and hospitals make medical decisions for their own financial gain. For instance, in 2013, doctors and executives at Chicago’s Sacred Heart Hospital were charged with ordering unnecessary medical procedures, including unnecessary tracheotomies, and according to the Chicago Tribune, one doctor even overdosed patients with sedatives in order to necessitate tracheotomies and lengthy hospital stays. It is important that patients know whether a procedure is necessary and the risks involved with the procedure before agreeing to it. Patients can help minimize the risk of an unnecessary surgical procedure by seeking a second opinion. At Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish, our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers represent the victims of medical malpractice, whether a misdiagnosis, surgical error, or unnecessary medical treatment. We are dedicated to protecting injured victims and their families, and have obtained record setting and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of our injured clients. If you suspect that you or a loved one were the victim of medical malpractice or an unnecessary surgery, contact the Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible medical malpractice claim. Additional Information:
- Surgical Malpractice Risks
- The Dangers of Unsterile Surgical Instruments and Other Surgical Errors
- Study Shows Many Knee Surgeries Are Unnecessary: Is Medical Malpractice Involved?
- Should I Get a Second Opinion?
- U.S. spends $700 billion on unnecessary medical tests
Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.