The Prevalence of Kidney Dialysis Mistakes
The kidneys serve a vital function within the human body. These two organs filter the blood in to remove waste through your urine. Without them, waste matter and extra fluids can accumulate in body. This can negatively affect blood pressure, bone health and sodium levels. About 135 quarts of blood filters through the kidneys every single day and when they fail to complete their job correctly, the result can prove deadly. End-stage renal disease is a serious condition that affects more than 300,000 Americans. The majority of these individuals receive dialysis treatments to combat kidney failure.
As defined by the National Institute of Health (NIH), dialysis is a process that “removes harmful substances from the blood when the kidneys cannot.” Hemodialysis is the most commonly administered type. Blood is removed from the body and sent through a filtering machine for cleaning. It is then returned to the body. Dialysis patients generally undergo these procedures three times a week, with each treatment lasting an average of three hours.
This is a major medical procedure that carries a substantial risk of injury. Some of the risks listed by the NIH include:
- Bleeding at the point of access;
- Lowering of blood pressure;
- Bubble formation within the blood vessel;
- Irregular heartbeats; and
- Imbalance of electrolytes within the body.
Part of the dialysis administrator’s responsibility is to closely monitor the condition of the total body and watch out for any of these risks. Unfortunately, that responsibility is not always met, leaving patients with extensive injuries.
Dialysis procedures are undertaken in a number of locations, including hospitals, non-profit dialysis centers and for-profit dialysis centers. Several studies have been conducted regarding the safety of these dialysis centers. According to a report in the Consumerist, patients at the largest for-profit center were 19% more likely to die than their counterparts in non-profit organizations. The perceived reasons for this discrepancy are varied. The for-profit clinics reportedly work with smaller staffs and patients are also allegedly kept in the centers for shorter periods of time.
Another reported problem with for-profit clinics is the failure to inform patients about transplant options. According to Nephrology News, patients at these clinics are less likely to receive education about transplants. Additionally, their obese and elderly patients are reportedly 53% less likely placed on lists for new organs or donor transplants. Experts partially attribute these problems to the fact that for-profit clinics are rarely affiliated with transplant hospitals.
Most recent reports conclude that these centers are using a dangerous class of medication linked to heart attacks and stroke. As reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, these drugs raise hemoglobin levels within the blood, forming blood clots. Even following a warning from the Food and Drug Administration, many for-profit clinics continue to use these controversial drugs.
If you or a loved one has been injured during kidney dialysis, contact the Miami legal team of Pita Weber & Del Prado for knowledgeable and skillful representation. Call the office today at 305-670-2889 for a free consultation.