Imagine going to the hospital for an already stressful and potentially life threatening medical issue. Now imagine that the doctor who handles your case tells you that you needed a certain procedure, without informing you of the potential risks and dangers of the procedure. Most patients trust that their doctors are making decisions in the best interest of the patient’s health and would agree to the procedure.
What if you were later informed that the additional procedure was unnecessary and could actually cause increased health problems? Several patients who saw cardiologists at Westmoreland Hospital were faced with this exact dilemma and have sued the two doctors for medical malpractice.
According to the article, the two physicians were telling patients that their arteries were blocked and that the patients required a coronary stent procedure. A review of the two cardiologists’ patients showed that almost 150 patients who received the procedure did not necessarily need them.
Two patients who are a part of the lawsuit against the doctors and the hospital were informed after the procedure that the procedure had been unnecessary. Though it appears that the two individuals have not experienced any complications, patients who have the procedure are at a greater risk for heart attacks and blood clots.
The lawsuit also alleges that the two doctors were recommending the unnecessary procedure in order to financially benefit the hospital. When patients are putting their lives into the hands of their physicians, they expect a certain level of care. To the patient, it can seem like the doctor is negligently providing health care in exchange for a financial gain.
Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review online, “Stent recipients sue Westmoreland Hospital, 2 doctors,” Luis Fabregas, 10 March 2011