The Law Offices of John Phebus

Patients may be misdiagnosed with acute kidney damage

Arizona patients who were diagnosed with an acute kidney injury may be interested to learn that the method for diagnosing this type of injury may be misleading for patients. According to a study that analyzed patient records, the blood test used to measure a waste product that is removed from the body by the kidneys may not provide a full enough picture to provide an accurate diagnosis.

Every year, it is estimated that up to 7 percent of all patients who are admitted to hospitals across the nation are diagnosed with acute kidney injury. This injury occurs when the kidney suffers damage that can last up to a few days or sudden failure. While nephrologists are specially trained to diagnose this type of injury after evaluating a wide array of factors, doctors working in busy emergency room or intensive care unit settings may be more inclined to rely on blood tests so that an immediate diagnosis can be made.

After analyzing 3.8 million patient records, researchers in the study found about 61,000 AKI diagnoses that were based on blood tests. After a second blood test within just three days, 73 percent of the patients originally diagnosed with AKI had their levels return to normal, indicating that they may not have had any kidney damage.

Hospital negligence can be a form of medical malpractice when it consists of an emergency room physician making a misdiagnosis of a patient. The patient might be forced to undergo a regimen wholly unrelated to the disease which continues to spread, leading to a worsened medical condition. Patients who have been harmed as a result of such an error might want to meet with an attorney to see what legal recourse may be available to them.

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