ERNST & YOUNG
For people living with chronic kidney failure, dialysis is a crucial part of their lives. This treatment helps the body control blood pressure, regulate certain chemicals, and remove toxic wastes from the body. It’s ill-advised to stop or skip dialysis treatment because it stresses your body and can be fatal. It’s also wrong for a treatment center to reduce the time spent on your dialysis sessions, especially without informing you. Without sufficient dialysis, you’re likely to feel more ill than usual. Medical malpractice in a dialysis appointment can cause further medical complications and make healthcare expensive. When this mistake happens, it’s crucial to understand what steps to take.
What Is Dialysis?
The kidney is a vital organ that ensures normal body function.
- It filters your blood and removes wastes and extra water. The waste is then released from the body through urine.
- The kidney also manages blood pressure by regulating fluid levels in your body and releasing hormones that trigger vasoconstriction.
- It contributes to the creation of red blood cells by releasing a hormone that triggers the bone marrow.
- It manages the pH levels in your body.
When kidney functions fail, the whole body is affected. Dialysis helps the body by providing kidney functions. It replaces around 10% of the kidney functions, which means that skipping a session or reducing the time spent on a treatment session is risky. Even if the side-effects do not show immediately, they show up eventually. Without proper dialysis appointments, you may experience the following:
- High blood pressure
- Low body energy
- Loss of appetite and weight
- Shortness of breath
- Yellowing skin
There are two types of dialysis – hemodialysis and peritoneal. In hemodialysis, the blood is pumped out of the body and into a dialysis machine. The “external kidney” cleans your blood and returns it to your body. Peritoneal dialysis happens inside the body where a cleansing fluid is placed in your belly to filter the blood, before being removed.
Usually, doctors recommend dialysis when you lose 85% of kidney function. At this point, patients develop end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
How Long Is a Dialysis Treatment?
Usually, dialysis treatments depend on several factors.
- Your level of kidney function
- The amount of fluid you’ve accumulated between treatments
- Your body size
- The amount of waste in your body
Generally, a hemodialysis treatment lasts for four hours and should happen thrice in one week. Peritoneal dialysis is possible to perform at home. You can perform it up to five times a day, or overnight, depending on the type of peritoneal dialysis you need.
While the duration between dialysis treatments may vary, one thing remains constant- it needs to be regular. For as long as you are breathing and functioning, you need to clean your blood, remove wastes, and eliminate excess fluids. Usually, hemodialysis patients have to visit a hospital, hence the need to observe the hours your medical practitioner clocks for each appointment.
What Does Malpractice in Dialysis Mean?
Shortening your dialysis treatment sessions is just as risky as missing a dialysis treatment. You increase the stress on your body and increase the chances of death by receiving short dialysis apoointment. Your life literally depends on dialysis.
Let’s say you receive three hemodialysis sessions every week, and your medical practitioner shortens the dialysis by 5 minutes. Five minutes every week is 15 minutes of dialysis, which is around 60 minutes of treatment in a month.
This level of medical malpractice is potentially fatal because, without proper blood cleansing, your body accumulates waste and begins to shut down. It’s also crucial to remember that loss of kidney function affects your blood pressure, weight, and appetite. Therefore, the lack of treatment can cause further health complications, among other vital organs.
It’s also illegal for a medical practitioner to lie to you, and willfully put you in harm’s way. If you have evidence that your dialysis appointment are shorter without your consent, it’s essential to seek legal action for the damage shorter sessions cause.
Shortening your dialysis appointment may have the following impacts:
- Research shows that missing one hemodialysis treatment increases your mortality rate by 30%- shortening your sessions can have the same effect.
- Shortened sessions increase the risk of hospitalization, urgent dialysis, and intensive care in extreme cases.
- Bone demineralization causes your bones to soften due to a lack of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D.
- Pulmonary congestion- this is the accumulation of fluid in your lungs. It occurs when you develop congestive heart failure, and your heart can no longer pump blood sufficiently throughout your body.
- Electrolyte disturbances are when electrolytes in your body are imbalanced, causing twitching, body weakness, spasm, and convulsions.
Longer Dialysis Appointment
To further understand the implications of shortened dialysis sessions, it’s crucial to understand the benefits of longer dialysis sessions. Observational data suggests that patients with longer dialysis appointment reduce their mortality rate. Patients also enjoy better fluid management, which reduces their dependency on anti-hypertensive medications.
As the patients receive more prolonged and frequent treatments, they achieve their dry weight – your healthy weight without excessive fluid in your body. With the right dry weight, their blood pressure is more regular, which great for reducing heart failure.
When a treatment center shortens your dialysis appointment, it increases your body’s fluid, causes blood pressure problems, increases your dependency on anti-hypertensive medications, and increases your weight. Each of these effects is expensive to treat and manage, not to mention that the provider may receive payments for services that are poorly done.
How Do You Get Help For Dialysis Malpractice?
If a treatment center or a doctor reduces your dialysis sessions, they won’t inform you due to fear of malpractice suits. If you or your loved one have discovered shortened dialysis appointments, you can approach a legal team.
A firm specializing in medical malpractice lawsuits can help you seek financial compensation to help you treat the side effects of shortened dialysis sessions. It can also prevent future malpractice by the medical practitioner, who is likely looking for extra payment by providing shorter sessions.
If you suspect medical errors in your dialysis treatment, contact us today for a consultation to determine what legal steps to take.
Who Can You Trust with Your Case?
Have you or a loved one been injured due to negligence? We want to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you believe you have a case; time is an important factor. Interested in learning more? Get in touch with us so we can better evaluate and serve your needs in getting the justice your loved one deserves. You may very well be entitled to compensation.
Call For a Free Consultation