Doctors Conducting Tests and Treatment You Don’t Need? | Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney

Published September 13th, 2012 in Blog, Medical Malpractice

I found an interesting article written by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who is an associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital and also serves as a CNN correspondent.  It was an op-ed piece for the New York Times written during the summer, in which Gupta raises a noteworthy point about a recent spike in doctors ordering tests and treatments.

Although the numbers are not exact, it is reasonably estimated that about 200,000 deaths in the United States are caused by medical mistakes, which is approximately double the number reported in 1999.  (The Institute of Medicine released a report stating there were 98,000 deaths caused by medical mistakes each year.)  A possible explanation for this rise in medical mistakes, as Gupta posits, is the fact that doctors are now ordering more tests and procedures than ever before.

Gupta shares with us a couple of statistics.  First, he writes that the number of hospital visits that lead to five prescriptions or more has quadrupled since 1996.  In addition, 24% of orthopedic surgeons admitted to ordering unnecessary medical procedures.  This, apparently, is done as “defensive medicine,” and it is meant to prevent potential lawsuits.  But when it comes down to it, ordering more tests just leads to more chances of error.  MRI scans can lead to false positives or being prescribed to too many drugs can lead to an accidental overdose.  Even basic operations carry certain risks–risks you don’t want to be exposed to if it isn’t necessary.

Of course, doctors are in the business of healing people, but unfortunately, accidents do happen, and accidents become more likely with each additional procedure.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a medical provider, please contact our attorneys at Kim Law, who will be more than happy to evaluate your claim.  If you’re looking for information regarding any other personal injury matter, please feel free to look through our blog.