Kidney Disease - Medical Negligence Lawyers
According to the World Health Organisation the highest incidence of medical negligence in the developed world occurs in Australia. If you have been injured by a healthcare professional including a doctor, dentist, nurse or technician and would like to speak to a Kidney Disease medical negligence lawyer without further obligation, just use the helpline. A medical negligence lawyer who deals exclusively in personal injury claims will speak to you, giving free advice and information on how best to preserve your legal right to receive compensation as a result of injuries caused by medical negligence.
Our Kidney Disease medical negligence lawyers have solicitors offices situated in Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin.
Kidney Disease - Medical Malpractice
Kidney disease involves any dysfunction of the kidney's functions. There are several different kinds of kidney disease for doctors to pay attention to. The kidneys are a set of paired organs located near the back of each side of the abdomen. They sit up near the spine in the extra-peritoneal space. The kidneys remove waste and get rid of excess water. They are involved in the maintenance of salt and mineral balance in the blood and they help regulate a person's blood pressure.
When the kidneys are injured, fluid and waste products can build up in a person's body so that there is swelling of the tissues, weakness, vomiting, shortness of breath, poor sleep and malaise. If the kidneys are not treated correctly, the disease in the kidney will worsen until the kidneys stop functioning altogether. This is considered a fatal condition unless the patient has dialysis or a kidney transplant.
One complication of the management of kidney disease is to fail to recognize it promptly. This is the first step in managing the disease. It means checking the BUN, creatinine and glomerular filtration rate. There are several stages of renal failure that need to be evaluated for the best treatment to happen. These stages include the following:
- Stage 1: GFR greater than 90. This is essentially normal kidney function and requires only end stage kidney failure and blood pressure control.
- Stage 2: GFR 60-89. Function is mildly reduced and indicates other kidney disease. Observation and control of risk factors and blood sugar.
- Stage 3: GFR 30-59. Moderately reduced kidney function. It requires observation and control of risk factors and blood pressure.
- Stage 4: GFR 15-29. Severely reduced kidney function. Plan for endstage renal failure and dialysis.
- Stage 5. GFR less than 15. Very severe or endstage kidney failure. Treatment involves dialysis and/or renal transplant.
A healthy kidney does a lot for the body. It is responsible for the maintenance of water and mineral content of the body. This includes control of the amounts of sodium, phosphorus and potassium in the bloodstream. It removes waste generated by digestion, chemical exposure, medications, and muscle activity. It makes renin, which controls blood pressure and makes erythropoietin, a chemical that stimulates the production of blood. It makes an active form of vitamin D, necessary for bone health.
The loss of kidney function can also be acute and can cause acute renal failure. One can get acute renal failure because of any one of the following:
- Loss of blood flow to the kidneys for any reason.
- Traumatic injury that causes severe blood loss.
- Damage to the kidney from septic shock.
- Blockage of urinary outflow.
- Pregnancy complication known as HELLP syndrome.
- Extreme athletes that don’t get enough water in can suffer from acute renal failure.
There are a number of conditions that can cause chronic renal failure. Chronic renal failure is defined as having one of the stages above for at least three months. It is a serious condition because you may not have any appreciable symptoms until the renal failure is severe and unable to be repaired. The most common causes of stage 3 kidney failure are diabetes and high blood pressure. More rare causes of the disease include the following:
- Immune problems like lupus.
- Chronic viral conditions like HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
- Serious urinary tract infections like multiple episodes of pyelonephritis.
- Inflammation of the glomeruli inside the kidneys.
- Polycystic kidney disease, which is inherited.
- Congenital defects that may be hereditary or just present at the time of birth.
- Drugs and toxins, including overuse of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like naproxen and ibuprofen.
- Use of IV street drugs.
There is no real treatment of chronic kidney disease. There is only the opportunity to prevent further kidney damage. This means being in good blood sugar control, having good control of blood sugar and avoiding medications that can contribute to having the kidneys worsen. ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II reuptake inhibitors are healthy for blood pressure control and kidney function.
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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here