Potentially Dangerous Medical Tests
When you are suffering with troubling medical symptoms, you want to think your doctor can quickly diagnose and treat the underlying health issues causing the problems. Getting a medical diagnosis is not always easy, and often involves a process of ruling certain conditions out. Depending on the types of symptoms you are experiencing, you may have frequent visits to the doctor’s office and appointments for a whole battery of tests. While medical advances have resulted in a variety of tests that can detect any number of underlying health problems and issues, there are tests your doctor may order that could be unnecessary and have potentially harmful effects. Dangerous medical testing can result in additional health problems and symptoms that are even more severe than the ones you originally sought care for. It is important to be aware of the negative side effects of any testing you undergo, and the potential ramifications these tests can have on your overall health.
Unnecessary and Dangerous Medical Tests
According to studies by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, routine medical testing that is commonly used by doctors has the potential to do more harm than good and costs Americans billions of wasted dollars. In cooperation with the American Association of Retired People (AARP), the study is part of a public service campaign called Choose Wisely. The problem with some screening tests is that they can produce false positive results, leading to unnecessary invasive procedures, medications, and even surgeries. Commonly over prescribed tests that can have potentially harmful results include:
- Imaging tests after heart procedures, which can lead to unnecessary and invasive procedures
- Yearly electrocardiogram or exercise stress tests, which can produce false positives
- PSA testing to screen for prostate cancer, which can result in unnecessary procedures that increase the odds of impotence and incontinence
- PET screen to diagnose Alzheimer’s, which often produce inconclusive or false positive results
- X-ray, CT, or MRI for lower back pain, which can result in surgeries that produce little to know results
- Colonoscopies over the age of 75, which can produce a rupture in the colon
According to the study, even a yearly physical can be excessive. It does not make sense to perform many of the tests associated with a physical, such as tests for anemia and liver disease, unless there are actually symptoms to indicate there is a problem.
Dangers Associated with CT Scans and X-Rays
Another study, conducted by Consumer Reports, indicate that both CT scans and x-rays are often overused. In addition to being overprescribed, technicians do not always take the necessary precautions to prevent overexposure to radiation caused by CT scans and x-ray devices. Researchers estimate that two percent of all future cancers in the United States will stem from the use of CT scans alone. That averages to 29,000 new cases of cancer and over 15,000 deaths per year. The study attributes the overuse of medical radiation technology to several factors:
- Financial incentives
- Physician misinformation
- Patient demand
- Lack of regulation
Let Our Office Help You Today
If you or someone you care about has suffered the adverse effects of a dangerous or unnecessary medical procedure, contact an experienced South Carolina medical malpractice attorney right away. At Anastopoulo Law Firm we can help you get the compensation you deserve for the damages you have suffered. From our offices in Charleston and throughout South Carolina we will fight for your rights, and hold responsible parties accountable. Call us today for a free consultation.