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Does Unnecessary Patient Admission Amount to Medical Malpractice?

Written by Ankin Law Office

When a person goes to the hospital for a medical condition, he or she expects to be treated with the appropriate level of care. Patients should receive necessary diagnostic tests and, if the condition cannot be brought under control, the patient may need to be admitted to the hospital for further testing or treatment. In some cases, the failure to admit a patient to diagnose or treat a medical condition amounts to medical malpractice and the doctor or hospital can be liable for any resulting injuries or medical complications.

But what about those situations in which a patient is admitted unnecessarily or receives unnecessary medical treatment – do those situations also amount to medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice – one of the most common types of personal injury claims – occurs anytime a doctor, hospital, or other health care provider fails to adhere to the standard of care and a patient is injured or dies as a result. Accordingly, medical malpractice can occur when a patient does not receive the medical treatment that he or she needs or is not admitted to the hospital when necessary, but it can also occur when a doctor unnecessarily admits a patient to the hospital and the patient is injured as a result.

Unfortunately, patients often receive unnecessary medical treatment which can make them susceptible to needless stress, additional illness, and medical risks. USA Today reports that unnecessary surgeries might account for 10% to 20% of all operations in some specialties, including a wide range of cardiac procedures and many types of spinal surgeries. Moreover, knee replacements, hysterectomies, and cesarean sections are among the most common surgical procedures that are performed more often than necessary. A 2011 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that, of 112,000 patients who had an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, 22.5% of the patients presented no medical evidence to support implantation of the device.

Sometimes unnecessary medical treatment or patient admission is the result of incompetence or inadequate training, but in many situations unnecessary patient admissions and unnecessary medical treatments are the result of healthcare fraud or massive kickback schemes. For instance, three Georgia hospitals are currently under federal investigation for allegedly unnecessarily admitting thousands of patients in order to bill the government more money.

Unnecessary patient admissions and unnecessary medical treatment should not be taken lightly. Unnecessary hospital stays can put patients at risk of further infection, other illnesses, undue stress, emotional distress, and psychological injuries. Moreover, patients often have to pay out-of-pocket deductibles for hospital stays, which can be more than $1,000 per night. Furthermore, unnecessary medical treatments and procedures, like tracheotomies, MRIs, and CT scans, can exacerbate medical conditions, create new medical risks, and can even result in death.

Get Help from Skilled Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If you have received an unnecessary medical test or were unnecessarily admitted to the hospital, you may want to consult with a medical malpractice attorney like the Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLCContact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule your free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Illinois unnecessary medical treatment lawyers.

Categories: Medical Malpractice