Malpractice or Medical Mistake: The Failure to Diagnose Kidney Disease Early Can Lead to Kidney Failure Requiring Dialysis or Even a Kidney Transplant

When your kidneys are working properly, they filter (remove) wastes and extra fluids from your blood, turn the wastes into urine, and send the urine to your bladder to be eliminated from your body. This prevents poisons from building up in your system and making you seriously ill.

The gradual loss of kidney function (ability of kidneys to do their job) is called Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). If your CKD is discovered early, your loss of kidney function can be slowed down and reduced. If your CKD is not diagnosed and treated, however, it may lead to Kidney Failure that cannot be reversed. When your kidneys have stopped working, you will need Dialysis to remove the poisons from your blood or a Kidney Transplant to give you a kidney that can work without Dialysis.

Kidney disease is very common and often goes undiagnosed. Early-stage CKD can be detected through simple blood and urine tests that can easily be ordered during routine office visits. A doctor’s failure to order these tests (or failure to accurately interpret the results of such tests) may be considered medical mistake or negligence that leads to further injury. When a patient sustains kidney damage due to a doctor’s medical malpractice, the doctor may be forced to pay financial damages (money) to the injured patient in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Though patients with early-stage CKD generally show few or no symptoms, a doctor may have reason to suspect that kidney disease may be present in a particular patient.

Patients who have been taking certain drugs or medicines have a significantly increased risk of developing CKD. These include the following:

  • Pain meds such as NSAIDs (e.g., Motrin, Advil, and Aleve; Anaprox, Celebrex, Clinoril, and Feldene)
  • Antibiotics (e.g., Vancomycin, Gentamycin, and Amphotericin B)
  • Prescription Laxatives (e.g., Visicol and OsmoPrep)
  • Contrast Dyes used in MRIs and CT scans
  • Medications used for Acid Reflux (e.g., Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, and Protonix)

Kidney Disease Malpractice

A doctor who has prescribed one of these drugs/medications for a patient but failed to perform the simple blood and urine tests that could have detected the onset of CKD may be found legally responsible, in a legal action, for damage to the patient’s kidneys and other organs that could have been prevented by early detection.

Older adults are also particularly susceptible to contracting CKD. A physician’s failure to monitor an older patient’s kidney function can lead to kidney failure and other serious complications that may have been prevented upon early detection of CKD through adequate medical care.

Contact Feldman & Pinto if you believe your kidney problem may have been caused by a doctor’s negligence (medical mistake or medical malpractice) or a dangerous drug.

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