A local movement to encourage kidney donation is gaining traction, in a valiant effort to combat the negative effects of renal disease, according to the Asbury Park Press.
Meanwhile, those who are waiting for a transplant or who might never receive one have to spend several days a week hooked up to a dialysis machine, which performs the functions that their kidneys cannot, which is to cleanse the blood of waste.
Our Queens medical malpractice attorneys know that for hundreds of thousands of people across the country, dialysis is their lifesaver. It is literally a means of survival.
The problem is that for many, it could actually end up doing more harm than good. Investigative news organization ProPublica took on a project wherein reporters reviewed eight years worth of federal inspection records on some 1,500 dialysis centers across the country. What they found was that far too often, conditions were unsafe and unsanitary. There were often severe lapses in patient care, and that resulted in numerous serious injuries and even deaths.
And although dialysis treatment facilities are supposed to be inspected every three years, ProPublica found that some of them had gone five years or longer without an inspection.
In fact, federal officials would later concede that more than a third of states had fallen short of proper inspection targets in recent years.
One of the greatest problems these facilities have is that the needles — injected in order to suck the blood out, filter it and then send it back into the body — frequently become dislodged. This lapse would be awful in and of itself, but in many of these locations, there are no doctors on site. Often, there are only trained technicians – not even nurses. On more than one location, the sight of blood has overwhelmed staffers and caused them to react poorly, putting the patients at risk.
In one case in 2005, a 73-year-old retired bookkeeper was receiving regular treatments at a clinic in Poughkeepsie. However, the temporary employee didn’t tape the tube properly in place. The facility also wasn’t following regulations that mandate the connection should be visible at all times. As the woman lie back, her eyes closed, under a blanket, blood pooled underneath her on the floor, rather than going back into her body. She was able to weakly call for help before losing consciousness.
She initially survived, but she never really recovered. She rapidly lost weight and was increasingly frail, even after being sent home following emergency treatment. She became depressed, as the once active woman was no longer able to garden or even walk her dog. The day before she died of heart failure, she hired an attorney to sue the dialysis center.
ProPublica’s investigation reportedly found dozens of incidents in which patients had suffered catastrophic hemorrhages during treatment. In most cases, government regulators later find that the facility had failed to follow minimum levels of care.
In fact, U.S. dialysis patients have a mortality rate that is double that of some other industrialized nations – despite the fact that we spend more than any other country on this type of care.
There has been a lot of talk lately about the harm of dialysis products like Granu-Flo. In addition to those, our Queens dialysis malpractice lawyers want you to be aware of the risks that dialysis centers in general may pose to you or your loved one. Don’t be afraid to speak out about concerns. And if you have been harmed during one of these treatments, contact an experienced injury lawyer today.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations. Call 1-877-313-7673.
When Needles Dislodge, Dialysis Can Turn Deadly, Nov. 10, 2010, By Robin Fields, ProPublica
Diverse leaders join forces to get word out on need for, benefits of kidney donations, March 4, 2013, By Margaret F. Bonafide, Asbury Park Press
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