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Medical Malpractice: When Failure to Diagnose Kidney Disease Leads to Kidney Failure

failure to diagnose

A failure to diagnose kidney disease in its early stages can result in kidney failure that requires dialysis. Coping with dialysis for the rest of one’s life is hard enough but when the condition was caused by medical malpractice – when a doctor neglects to meet the standard of care expected of him or her by failing to order appropriate tests or accurately interpreting the test results – it can be especially hard to swallow.

If it is proved that kidney failure was caused as a direct result of negligence the medical professional may be found liable for damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Damages are monetary compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.

What is chronic kidney disease?

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the loss of kidney function over time. When the body is no longer able to remove waste and extra fluids from the blood through urine, poisons can build up in the system and cause serious illness. Kidney dialysis is the process of manually filtering waste and toxins from the body.

In its early stages, CKD can be detected and diagnosed though blood and urine tests ordered by a general practitioner. The difficulty is that early on, kidney disease doesn’t present many symptoms.

Failure to diagnose kidney disease

There are some medical and family risk factors and prescription medications that increase the risk of chronic kidney disease. Doctors should be aware of their patient’s increased risk for kidney disease and be on high alert for any symptoms that could be caused by CKD. When symptoms present in these patients, tests should be ordered promptly to rule out CKD before permanent damage is caused.

Medications that dramatically increase the risk of chronic kidney disease:

  • Antibiotics including Amphotericin B, Vancomycin and Gentamycin
  • Contrast dyes used for CT scans and MRIs
  • Statin medicines used to treat high cholesterol including atorvastatin, lovastatin and simvastatin
  • Diabetes medicines including insulin and metformin
  • Prescription laxatives including OsmoPrep and Visicol
  • Acid reflux medications including Protonix, Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec
  • Pain medications including NSAIDs such as Advil, Aleve, Motrin, Anaprox, Celebrex and Feldene

Other risk factors for chronic kidney disease include:

  • Advanced age – kidneys shrink as we age
  • Gender – men are more likely to develop kidney disease than women
  • Family history of high blood pressure and diabetes – these conditions can be precursors to kidney disease
  • Race – Native Americans and African Americans are more prone to kidney disease

If you believe that your kidney failure was caused by a failure to diagnose kidney disease then you could benefit from a consultation with a caring, experienced medical malpractice lawyer. He or she will review the circumstances of your injury and discuss your legal rights.

The Seattle personal injury attorneys at Morrow Kidman Tinker Macey-Cushman, PLLC have years of experience representing families harmed by medical malpractice. We seek justice for patients who have been harmed by preventable medical errors including birth injuries, hospital-acquired infections and wrongful death in Seattle and across Washington State. There are no fees or expenses to file a personal injury case as we only receive payment if we recover damages on your behalf. Do not delay; personal injury claims come with a Statute of Limitations, which means they must be filed within a certain time frame of the injury.

Call us now at 206-842-1000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our compassionate, experienced attorneys.