Failing To Test, Diagnose And Refer Is Medical Negligence
When you undergo a medical exam, blood tests and urine tests are routine. If you are in the early stages of kidney disease, that should be indicated by those tests.
With early and accurate diagnosis, most kidney diseases can be treated and effectively managed, and the progress from early-stage kidney disease to complete renal failure can be slowed, halted and, in some cases, even reversed. However, if test results are misread or not even recognized — because of inadequate medical training, overwork and stress, or any other reason — specialists may not be consulted, treatment may not be ordered, and a patient’s condition can quickly deteriorate. That constitutes medical malpractice.
What Constitutes A Reasonable Standard Of Care?
Certainly not every case of kidney failure is the result of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice has a specific legal definition relating to the violation of a reasonable standard of care that would be provided by most doctors. Unless you are a medical doctor, you are unlikely to know what a reasonable standard of care means in your case so it is difficult for injured people to know if they are victims of medical malpractice.
While every case is different and requires a thorough medical and legal review, here are a few factors that might cause you to suspect that medical malpractice played a role in your illness.
- When a urine test finds both protein and blood in the urine — technically known as proteinuria and hematuria — that is often a sign of kidney disease and it is reasonable to retest you after a short wait. If you have the same levels of protein and blood, it is reasonable for you to be referred to a specialist for more diagnostic testing.
- If a blood test shows decreased protein in the blood, increased creatinine and an abnormal BUN (blood urea nitrogen), this signals a problem in the way your kidneys are filtering your blood, and you should undergo further testing.
- High blood pressure can be triggered by kidney disease, but high blood pressure is usually a symptom rather than a cause. If your blood pressure has remained high after trying several treatments, it may be caused by undiagnosed or untreated kidney disease. If your doctor doesn’t consider kidney disease as a possible cause of high blood pressure, this medical mistake can cause serious harm.
Talk To An Attorney If You Suspect Malpractice
At the law office of Kurzban Kurzban Tetzeli & Pratt, P.A., our lawyers work with medical experts to determine if medical malpractice and misdiagnosis played a part in the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure.
For more than 25 years, we have represented kidney disease clients in Florida and around the country when other attorneys refer patients to us or work with us to help injured people reach fair settlements.