There are a seemingly endless number of products and services on the market today that claim to provide patients with a myriad of desired results. From younger-looking skin to energy, many of the clinics offering these services are doing more harm than good. Take, for example, the Nederland, Texas, clinic Optimum Wellness. Like other similar medical clinics throughout the country, Optimum Wellness offers hormone therapy, a service some believe could turn back time and erase all those pesky lines and wrinkles. Other patients have had the service recommended to them as a way to balance out the hormones and provide energy, such was the case for Houston resident Emmitt Landry.
Today we are going to take a closer look at the case involving Mr. Landry and any others that center around hormone therapy clinics. Unfortunately, there are inherent risks with this kind of service that professionals have failed to inform patients of. If you or someone you love has been injured or suffered a medical emergency following hormone therapy, please contact Wormington & Bollinger today. Our experienced team of McKinney medical malpractice lawyers is here to answer any questions you may have and help you understand your rights. Medical malpractice comes in many different forms, from the recent genetic testing scams preying on seniors to purposeful misdiagnoses, medical malpractice is a serious problem in the United States.
Hormone Therapy Linked to Stroke
Emmitt Landry was a 41-year-old federal corrections officer in Texas that was struggling to get through the day. His energy levels were low, and he was feeling more fatigued than he should. Coworkers suggested Optimum Wellness, a clinic in Nederland, Texas, that offered hormone therapy services for symptoms like Landry’s. At the clinic, a nurse practitioner prescribed Landry testosterone, despite the fact his hormone levels were completely normal.
Often, when testosterone or estrogen levels are unbalanced, it can lead to a wide range of symptoms.
What are the symptoms of hormone imbalance?
In men, symptoms of hormone imbalance include:
- Brain fog
- Weight gain
- Low sex drive
- Difficulty maintaining muscle mass
While Landry came into the clinic because he was feeling fatigued and just couldn’t quite muster the energy necessary to get through the day, he did not display any of the other symptoms. However, the nurse still sold him hormone therapy. Optimum Wellness isn’t the only clinic coming under fire for prescribing hormones to people with normal blood levels. This is a trend happening across the country that has some very unfortunate consequences.
According to Landry, the nurse only talked about the benefits of taking testosterone, failing to mention any apparent risks. Soon after he started taking testosterone, Landry found himself in the hospital as the result of a stroke. While Landry recovers, critics are raising questions as to the safety of hormone therapy in general.
Patient Experiences Heart Palpitations Following Thyroid Hormone Therapy
Another patient, 60-year-old Cindy Kinder-Benge of New Albany, Indiana, was rushed to the hospital with an increased heart rate as the result of a thyroid medication she was taking. The doctor in the emergency room was concerned after realizing that her thyroid blood levels were completely normal, meaning she did not need any kind of hormone therapy.
Kinder-Benge had gone to the clinic, 25 Again, for menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. As you can guess from the name, this clinic focuses on providing patients with services that help them lose weight and look and feel younger. This is an incredibly unsafe practice that has some serious repercussions, as we have seen with both the cases examined today. Thankfully for Kinder-Benge, the emergency room doctor noticed immediately that she was on thyroid medication when she didn’t need to be. This medication was contributing to the symptoms she was describing (hot flashes, heart palpitations, increased heart rate).
Are Hormone Therapy Clinics Safe?
CBS News conducted an investigation following reports of cases just like Landry’s. They lack a lot of oversight on the part of state medical and nursing boards, including a failure to keep track of any negative side effects or incidents involving hormone therapy. Given the trend in our country of “look and feel younger,” it is no wonder these clinics can sell hormone therapy as a solution. There is a widespread practice of giving testosterone to individuals who do not need it, yet many of these patients are in the dark as to the potential negative side effects. They think testosterone and other hormones are the answer to stopping the aging process.
Landry has been outspoken about his experience, saying Optimum Wellness and other similar clinics are “preying on people’s fears of growing old.” As with any other health concern, when you go to the doctor for help, you assume they have your best interests in mind. Sadly, many medical practitioners have ulterior motives or are misinformed themselves.
Facts About Medical Malpractice
Practitioners throughout the country are getting on board with hormone therapy services because they see how much profit can be made. To them, this is “easy money.” Not only is this unethical, but it is putting seemingly healthy patients at-risk. This is a very dangerous form of medical malpractice that many people are unaware of. In the past, we’ve talked about medical malpractice in the form of prescription errors, Big Pharma preying on consumers, misdiagnosis, wrong dosage, and so on.
These preventable medical mistakes harm an estimated 1 in 10 people and cause almost as many deaths as cancer and heart disease. Here is a look at some other important facts about medical malpractice:
- Medical negligence is the third-leading cause of death in the United States
- Studies estimate the number of people who die from medical errors is anywhere from 250,000 to 440,000 each year
- More than 95 percent of medical malpractice cases are settled out of court
- Over half of all physicians in the U.S. have been named in a medical malpractice suit
- The most common mistake made is a misdiagnosis
- Burnout is a common cause of medical errors
If you have been injured as a result of a medical error, or if a healthcare professional prescribes you a service that you did not need, and you display dangerous symptoms as a result, please contact Wormington & Bollinger. Our experienced medical malpractice lawyers will assess your case and determine what the best course of action will be.