More than 340,000 Americans are being treated for End-Stage
Renal Disease, or kidney failure. Of these, more than 240,000
are dialysis patients and more than 100,000 have a functioning
kidney transplant. Each year, more than 67,000 deaths occur
as a result of kidney failure. The current yearly cost for
treating kidney failure in the United States is approximately
Dialysis acts as an artificial kidney. There are two types
of dialysis: peritoneal and hemodialysis. About 90% of patients
receiving dialysis receive it as hemodialysis. According to
a recent study, Americans who have dialysis performed at private,
for-profit centers, face an 8% higher risk of death than those
who seek the treatment at private non-profit clinics. The
research suggests that at least 2,500 deaths a year could
possibly be prevented by switching kidney patients to non-profit
For-profit dialysis centers typically have smaller staffs
and nurses and technicians who are not as well trained. Patients
generally attend for-profit clinics for shorter periods, which
has been associated with higher mortality rates. Dr. P.J.
Devereaux, a Canadian cardiologist and co-author of the new
study, has stated that the profit dialysis centers are not
leading to a savings: what our research keeps showing
is that, instead of creating efficiencies, people are cutting
the quality of care. The new report is presented in
the November edition of the Journal of the American Medical
With so many patients undergoing dialysis at profit centers,
the potential for increase in these statistics is staggering.
And, errors made to dialysis patients do not end with the
actual dialysis treatments. Physician failure to monitor the
patients blood work and dialysis medications has also
been seen recently at some local facilities. Thus, the careful
choice of a dialysis center and the treating nephrologists
could very well prove to be life saving decisions.
Problems are also frequently seen with the dialysis access
in hemodialysis patients. Fistulas get clotted and fail. Often,
several surgeries are required to repair the dialysis access
routes or provide for new routes. Each of these surgeries
carries their own risks.
All of these potential problems require the dialysis patient
and his or her family to stay on top of their dialysis care.
It is simply no longer safe enough to blindly trust the dialysis
clinics who, by seeking a profit, also seek to get the patients
in and out as quickly as possible. It is also incumbent on
the family to talk to the treating nephrologists, ask questions
and seek answers to any questionable care.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of an error
in the dialysis care or treatment, call Phillips & Mitchell
toll free at 1-866-321-1580 for a free consultation or
click here for a Free Case
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