The benefits and risks of all medical procedures must be weighed, including the necessity of the procedure itself. A 2016 study explored ten of the riskiest instances of medical overuse and found that cardiac procedures were among the most unnecessary and overused medical treatments.
Cardiac catheterization procedures, including diagnostic angiograms and angioplasties (performed to unclog arteries), are among the most commonly questioned procedures. Whether these, and other cardiac procedures, are medically necessary, or whether some are performed more for the financial benefit of the providers than the health benefit of the patients, has been questioned.
Injuries related to unnecessary cardiac procedures can lead to litigation, which can result in high verdicts or settlements. For example, an agreement for an undisclosed amount was reached in a 2017 settlement of 80 lawsuits alleging unnecessary cardiac procedures at one hospital.
Attorneys, physicians, insurers, employers, and other potential parties to litigation need to understand the liability issues that may arise in connection with unnecessary cardiac procedures.