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Preventing Established Renal Failure

Preventing Established Renal Failure

Kidney disease is ordinarily detected in the early stages with blood and urine tests. This ensures the condition can be effectively managed.

However, if doctors miss the signs and symptoms of kidney disease and a patient develops established renal failure, there may be a case of medical negligence. For more information, please get in touch with us today.

Detecting chronic kidney disease

When the kidneys begin to permanently lose function, a person is said to have chronic kidney disease (CKD).

CKD is often diagnosed during routine screening tests offered to people at risk of developing kidney disease.

Alternatively, the illness may be detected after a patient presents to their GP complaining of symptoms characteristic of decreased kidney function. These symptoms often include:

  • Weight loss and poor appetite
  • Water retention causing swollen ankles, feet or hands
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased need to urinate, especially during the night
  • Itchy skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Erectile dysfunction in male patients

A patient who presents to their GP with these symptoms should be tested for chronic kidney disease. Of course, it is possible that these symptoms are being caused by another, more minor condition. Nevertheless, it is important to check that kidney disease is not present as it is best caught in the early stages.

When a patient is suspected of having CKD, he/she should have their blood pressure checked, as this is a sign of reduced kidney function. A urine test should also be carried out as blood and protein in the urine is also a sign of reduced kidney function.

If a patient's symptoms and the clinical results point towards CKD, a patient should be referred to a specialist for further tests.

Failure to spot chronic kidney disease

Unfortunately there are occasions when a patient will visit their GP repeatedly, yet their CKD remains undetected for a significant period of time. It is very likely that this will amount to a substandard level of care, as a patient displaying symptoms consistent with reduced kidney function should undergo basic tests such as a urine test. Protein and blood in the urine is an indication for a referral to a nephrologist.

If there is a long delay in seeking the opinion of a nephrologist in the face of obviously declining renal function, the GP will have provided a substandard level of care. If this has a negative impact upon a patient in that they progress to established renal failure, there will be grounds for a medical negligence claim.

Claiming compensation

To find out if you can claim compensation for negligent GP care, please get in touch with us today to discuss your options.

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