Medical Overtreatment is a Dangerous Reality in the United States

When you visit a medical professional, you expect to receive competent care. While we expect comprehensive care, the reality is that many patients are being overtreated, meaning they are receiving tests and treatments that they do not actually need. If you or someone close to you has suffered an injury due to a medical professional’s overtreatment, you need to reach out to a skilled Baltimore medical negligence attorney as soon as possible. At Arfaa Law Group, we can help you assess the case and determine whether a lawsuit is the right option for you.

A recent study published in PLUS ONE has shed light on just how big the problem of overtreatment is in the United States. According to the report, at least 15 to 30 percent of overall medical care is unnecessary, said most of the 2,100 physicians who responded to a survey conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins and Harvard Medical Schools. The data also shows that about 22 percent of prescription medication, 25 percent of tests, and 11 percent of procedures that are given are not needed. For example, not every patient with back pain needs an x-ray, but an x-ray is very often ordered.

An overwhelming majority of the physicians who were interviewed for the study cited fear of litigation as the top reason for overtreatment, followed by patient pressure and difficulty assessing prior medical records. While physicians think they are being extra cautious by overtreating, the reality is that overtreatment can be harmful for patients and give rise to medical malpractice claims as well. For example, prescribing a patient with a cough or cold antibiotics when they do not actually need them might be administering too strong a medication for the problem at hand, and it could ultimately harm the patient, due to other side effects associated with those antibiotics.

A medical malpractice claim is a civil claim that is designed to hold negligent medical professionals accountable for the harm that they cause to patients. Under Maryland law, medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional causes an injury or death by failing to do their job in accordance with the standard of care that a reasonably prudent medical professional in the same specialty would have used under the same or similar circumstances. To establish medical malpractice in Maryland, the plaintiff has to show the following:  i) the medical professional owed the patient a duty of care; ii) the medical professional breached that duty of care; and iii) the medical professional’s breach was a direct cause of the plaintiff’s resulting harm.

While patients should receive diligent medical care, medical professionals should understand the profound risks associated with overtreatment. If you or your loved one has suffered adverse consequences of overtreatment, it is imperative to reach out to a skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorney. At Arfaa Law Group, we understand the nuances of this area of law and can help you navigate the legal process. These claims are complex, and having a trusted legal advocate can make a critical difference in your case. To get a free evaluation of your case, you can call 410-889-1850 or contact us online.

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