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Does Weightlifting Benefit Kidney Disease Patients?

Posted on: March 16, 2018 by in Blog
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If you are one of the millions in the United States who are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD), you might be surprised to learn what researchers are recommending to improve your health.

It’s weightlifting. You are about to learn how moderate weightlifting can help CKD patients increase their strength, energy, and cardiorespiratory fitness. And it’s easier than you may think.

Weightlifting offers substantial health benefits to those who have chronic kidney disease, according to research conducted across the Atlantic by the University of Leicester.

While there has been a growing consensus that chronic kidney disease patients should exercise regularly, until now, there has been a notable lack of specific exercise recommendations.

WHAT ARE THE RESEARCHERS SUGGESTING FOR CKD PATIENTS?

Researchers found that patients with non-dialysis kidney disease may considerably increase their strength and fitness by lifting weights for twelve weeks, three times a week.

Although aerobic exercises like cycling, rowing, and treadmill walking are helpful, the addition of resistance exercises – weightlifting – led to greater increases in muscle mass and strength than aerobic exercise alone.

Dr. Tom Wilkinson, who led the researchers, admitted, “There is limited research on the effects of exercise in CKD patients,” but he added that “both aerobic exercises and strength exercises are important.”

The CKD patients in the study pursued twelve weeks of supervised aerobic exercise (treadmill, rowing, or cycling) for thirty minutes, or combined training (aerobic exercise plus leg extension and leg press weight exercises), three times a week.

The exercise sessions were conducted at the exercise gym in the Leicester Diabetes Centre.

WHAT ABOUT YOUR OWN WEIGHTLIFTING PROGRAM?

If you are a chronic kidney disease patient, talk with your nephrologist before you begin any weightlifting program of your own.

You can use light dumbbells to provide resistance to your muscles. Exercises like arm curls, leg extensions using ankle weights, squats, and overhead arm extensions will help build muscles.

Most chronic kidney disease patients should pursue a weightlifting program using very light weights and high repetitions to avoid unnecessary heavy lifting.

WHICH CKD PATIENTS SHOULD NOT BE EXERCISING?

If you are a chronic kidney disease patient, do not exercise if you:

1. have recently changed your dialysis schedule
2. have recently changed your medication or medication schedule
3. have a recent major change in your medical condition
4. have a fever or feel overheated

Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the U.S. It is estimated that approximately thirty million adults in this nation suffer with chronic kidney disease.

Medical malpractice, however, is actually the third leading cause of death in the U.S. It is inevitable that scores of chronic kidney disease patients are also going to be victims of medical malpractice. In the event of any medical health issues, please contact a doctor.

WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS ON MEDICAL MALPRACTICE IN THE U.S.?

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, about 225,000 people die each year from medical malpractice, including approximately:

1. 12,000 fatalities from unneeded surgery
2. 7,000 fatalities from hospital medication errors
3. 20,000 fatalities from other hospital errors
4. 80,000 fatalities from preventable infections
5. 100,000 fatalities from the adverse effects of medications

WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF KIDNEY DISEASE ISN’T ACCURATELY DIAGNOSED?

Chronic kidney disease sufferers can be treated if CKD is diagnosed early and accurately.

However, if test results are misread or misinterpreted, and chronic kidney disease goes untreated, it may constitute medical malpractice.

An inaccurate diagnosis or improper treatment can lead to kidney failure, a lifetime of dialysis, or the need for a kidney transplant. In such cases, a wrongful death is too often the final result.

Medical malpractice is a violation of the “reasonable standard of care” established and offered by most healthcare providers.

WHAT ARE THE RIGHTS OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE VICTIMS?

If your health has declined or your CKD has been exacerbated by a misdiagnosis or by improper treatment, you may be entitled to monetary compensation.

If you believe that you have been a victim of medical malpractice while seeking treatment for CKD, discuss your options and rights at once with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

When healthcare professionals do not provide a reasonable standard of care, they are negligent.

When medical negligence causes injury or harm, the patient is entitled to financial compensation.

With a medical malpractice claim, an injured CKD patient can be reimbursed for additional medical care, for lost income and earning potential, and for the personal pain and suffering that he or she has endured.

WHAT ARE THE OBLIGATIONS OF HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS?

While healthcare providers owe their patients a reasonable standard of care, they are not obligated to order every imaginable medical test.

Healthcare professionals are instead expected to provide the care equivalent to what other doctors typically offer in similar circumstances:

1. tests that are standard and reasonable depending on the patient’s condition
2. prompt examination and accurate assessment of lab results
3. consultation with a specialist when appropriate
4. referral to a specialist when appropriate

Every medical malpractice case is different, and every aspect of a medical malpractice case must be thoroughly considered from both the legal and medical viewpoints.

HOW CAN KIDNEY DISEASE PATIENTS PROTECT THEMSELVES?

If you are a chronic kidney disease patient, learn as much as you can about your doctors. Keep precise notes and records regarding your visits, prescriptions, and treatments.

Hopefully, you will never need those notes and records for legal reasons. Most doctors take all of the appropriate measures to reduce risks and the possibility of malpractice.

Those appropriate measures include thorough patient consultation and education prior to treatment or surgery, and proper follow-up care and treatment following treatment or surgery.

If you have been victimized by medical malpractice, take your complaint immediately to a good medical malpractice attorney.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM TO PREVAIL?

In most states and in most cases, to prevail with a medical malpractice lawsuit, a malpractice victim’s attorney must prove that:

1. a healthcare professional or facility provided substandard care
2. the substandard care directly harmed or injured a patient
3. the extent of the harm or injury can be documented and quantified

A good medical malpractice lawyer can review your case to determine if a medical malpractice lawsuit is appropriate and feasible. If it is, you may be compensated for the injuries you’ve sustained.

If you are a CKD patient, and if you are the victim of a misdiagnosis, wrongful treatment, or a surgical mistake, speak now to a lawyer who will fight aggressively for the compensation you need and for the justice you deserve.

Can Bariatric Surgery Reduce The Risk Of Chronic Kidney Disease?

Posted on: February 16, 2018 by in Blog
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Bariatric surgery may reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). If you are at risk for CKD, or if you are considering bariatric surgery, here are some important facts for you to consider.

About 26 million adults in the United States struggle with chronic kidney disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation. It is the ninth leading cause of death in this country.

The risk factors for chronic kidney disease include diabetes, obesity, and a family history of kidney disease. Anyone over the age of sixty is also at risk.

Other risk factors for chronic kidney disease include high blood pressure, smoking, and cardiovascular disease.

WHAT IS BARIATRIC SURGERY?

Bariatric surgery is weight loss surgery performed on people who are struggling with obesity.

Weight loss is attained by reducing the size of the stomach, or by the removal of a portion of the stomach, or by re-routing the small intestine to a small stomach pouch (gastric bypass surgery).

Studies have shown that bariatric surgery can lead to a significant long-term weight loss, to recovery from diabetes, and to substantial improvement in cardiovascular risk factors.

Obesity has also been linked to the progression and development of CKD, but whether or not bariatric surgery can reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease has been poorly understood – until now.

HOW DO WE KNOW THAT BARIATRIC SURGERY LOWERS THE CKD RISK?

Researchers can now tell us with assurance that bariatric surgery lowers the risk of chronic kidney disease. A newly-published study provides the proof.

Dr. Allon N. Friedman of the Indiana University School of Medicine recently led a team of medical researchers who studied 2,144 adults who’ve undergone bariatric surgery.

The research team published their findings in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The researchers sought to determine if bariatric surgery has any influence on the risk of CKD. The bariatric surgery patients were placed in three CKD risk categories: low, moderate, and high.

Patients in the low-risk category experienced no improvement, but they were already at the lowest risk for CKD. However, patients in the other categories showed marked improvements.

WHICH PATIENTS REDUCED THEIR CKD RISK WITH BARIATRIC SURGERY?

Among patients with moderate CKD risk, 63 percent and 53 percent showed improvement in their CKD risk category (from moderate risk to low risk) at one and seven years, respectively.

Among patients with high chronic kidney disease risk, 78 percent and 56 percent experienced an improvement in their risk category at one and seven years, respectively.

Researchers say their “findings support consideration of CKD risk in evaluation for bariatric surgery and further study of bariatric surgery as a treatment for high-risk patients with CKD.”

The 2,144 study participants had a median age of 46. Women constituted 79 percent of the participants. Most participants – 71 percent – had undergone gastric bypass surgery.

WHAT WERE THE RESEARCHERS’ CONCLUSIONS?

“What is notable,” the researchers wrote, “is that greater weight loss and not the mechanism through which weight loss was achieved … was an independent predictor of reduced CKD risk.”

They also wrote that their findings are “consistent with reports in rats in which equivalent weight loss from surgical or medical interventions led to similar histologic improvements in the kidney.”

The researchers conclude their report by recommending the “further study of bariatric surgery as a treatment for high-risk obese patients with CKD.”

While researchers around the world are making substantial headway in the fight against chronic kidney disease, those already struggling with the disease still must deal with a number of risks.

WHAT IS ONE NOTABLE RISK THAT CKD PATIENTS FACE?

One of those risks is medical malpractice. As noted above, there are 26 million adult chronic kidney disease patients in the United States. That’s a lot of opportunity for medical malpractice.

If you are fighting CKD, have you been misdiagnosed at any point since you began seeking treatment? Have you received improper treatment? Or are you the victim of a surgical mistake?

CKD, when identified early, can be treated and managed, but if a doctor fails to diagnose CKD accurately, or if you receive the wrong treatment, your condition may rapidly deteriorate.

Misdiagnosing CKD or treating chronic kidney disease improperly both constitute medical malpractice.

IF YOU ARE A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE VICTIM, WHO CAN HELP?

If you are both a CKD patient and a medical malpractice victim, you are entitled by law to compensation, but you must speak at once with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Medical malpractice costs the United States over $3 billion a year. Several times every day, an innocent person is injured by the carelessness or negligence of a healthcare provider.

For chronic kidney disease patients, medical malpractice can cause unnecessary affliction, deteriorating health, injury, and in some cases, wrongful death.

WILL LEARNING MORE ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS COST YOU ANYTHING?

If you’ve been victimized while you were seeking treatment for chronic kidney disease, you should not be concerned with the cost of taking legal action.

Most injury attorneys work on a contingent fee basis – you pay nothing unless and until the attorney wins compensation on your behalf.

Most malpractice lawyers also offer a free first legal consultation. The attorney will review your case, and you’ll know precisely where you stand legally.

Thus, if you are a chronic kidney disease patient, and if you believe that you are a victim of medical malpractice, you have nothing to lose by learning more.

HOW ARE MOST MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIMS HANDLED?

You should also know that 93 percent of medical malpractice claims are settled outside of the courtroom.

Settling out-of-court means that you’ll pay your attorney less because a trial won’t be necessary, and it also means that you’ll be able to avoid the inconvenience of having to appear in court.

Your attorney will work aggressively for every cent of compensation you need. That covers your extra medical expenses and any wages lost due to medical malpractice.

How Jed Kurzban Makes A Difference

Posted on: February 15, 2018 by in Blog
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Jed Kurzban wanted to be a lawyer since – when he was 12 or 13 – he first watched his father argue before a jury on a client’s behalf. The client was an ironworker whose foot had been crushed when a crane ball dropped from fifty feet. Jed’s father told the jury not to agree to the “pennies” that were being offered as a settlement, and he tossed a fistful of pennies in the air.

“The judge yelled at my father,” Jed Kurzban recalls. “I was hooked and wanted to be a trial attorney.” Jed explains that his father mentored him in law school and let him clerk for the firm. When Jed first joined with the firm, he handled a wide variety of cases, and it wasn’t long until he took on his initial medical malpractice case.

Jed Kurzban says he “fell in love” with the learning it takes to be an effective advocate for the victims of medical malpractice. Again, Jed credits his dad. “My father allowed me to find my own way and my own love for the law.” Today, Jed Kurzban’s practice is committed to representing the victims of wrongful death and medical malpractice.

PUTTING LIVES BACK TOGETHER

What is the most rewarding part of being a medical malpractice attorney? Jed Kurzban answers without hesitation, “My clients.” He explains that the victims of medical malpractice usually exhaust their families’ resources quickly, receive no government assistance of any kind, and often have to fight insurance companies despite being injured and legally entitled to compensation.

Often, medical malpractice victims may feel like their lives have been destroyed. They can face severe financial hardships. Jed Kurzban works hard to provide them with help and hope – as well as compensation and justice. He is dedicated to helping medical malpractice victims put their lives back together and helping them move positively and constructively into the future.

Speaking of the future, how does Jed Kurzban see it? He understands that changes to the law – and to social policy – happen slowly, so that any single case has the potential, in time, to become a landmark case. He enjoys being “part of the front line” in the ever-changing world of medical malpractice law.

“DOING SOMETHING VALUABLE IN THE WORLD”

When he’s not advocating on behalf of the victims of medical malpractice, Jed Kurzban is probably rooting for one of Miami’s sports teams. Jed was born and raised in Miami – he even earned his J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law – so he’s enjoyed watching the Dolphins and Hurricanes for as long as he can remember.

Jed Kurzban says, “I want to be doing something valuable in the world and helping those that need help.” He explains that Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli & Pratt is a “boutique” law firm, with each partner practicing in the field of law he or she most prefers. Along with Jed’s work as a medical malpractice attorney, the firm also handles immigration law, corporate law, and more. For the full article, click here.

If you believe that you are or have been victimized by medical malpractice, you can arrange to speak with Jed Kurzban by contacting Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzeli & Pratt, P.A. Call 786-401-4706, or complete the contact form on our website.

Are There Certain Drugs That Are Harmful To Your Kidneys?

Posted on: January 16, 2018 by in Blog
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Are you at risk of misdiagnosis – which is medical malpractice – if you suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

What about the drugs that you may be using right now? Every time we use a drug, our kidneys are affected.

Keep reading, and we’ll examine a number of drugs, the damage those drugs can do to your kidneys, and your options if you have been the victim of a misdiagnosis.

If you use any drug illegally, or if a drug you take has been prescribed or purchased over-the-counter – but you don’t follow the directions – your kidneys can be harmed.

It’s always wise to be extremely careful when you are using any kind of medication, because if you hurt yourself by not following the directions for taking a drug, it is no one’s fault but your own.

If, however, you are prescribed the wrong drug, you are harmed, and you can prove it, you’ll be entitled to compensation for your extra medical expenses as well as your personal pain and suffering arising from the medical malpractice.

However, to prove your medical malpractice claim, you will need the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Below is a list of some of the medications that can damage your kidneys.

CAN OVER-THE-COUNTER PAIN REMEDIES HARM THE KIDNEYS?

If you consume large doses of analgesics or other over-the-counter medications, your kidneys could be seriously harmed.

It’s a good idea to avoid depending on pain remedies like ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen.

Thousands of people have harmed themselves by the overuse of these products, although there is no evidence of risk regarding the regular use of aspirin in the small doses suggested for the prevention of heart attacks.

The warning labels on over-the-counter analgesics tell you not to use these medications for longer than ten days for pain or longer than three days for a fever.

If your pain and/or fever last longer, talk to your doctor.

Especially if you are a kidney disease patient, you cannot “self-medicate.”

You need to clear any medications that you take with your doctor.

WHAT ABOUT ALCOHOL?

Heavy drinking is always bad for anyone’s health.

Excessive alcohol consumption can damage the liver and the kidneys too.

Persons who struggle with alcohol dependency have a higher risk of suffering kidney disease, diabetes, or liver failure.

If you’re concerned, speak with your doctor about your alcohol consumption.

CAN ANTIBIOTICS DAMAGE YOUR KIDNEYS?

Persons who have chronic kidney disease need to take antibiotics in smaller amounts and doses than people who have healthy kidneys.

Antibiotics include amphotericin B, aminoglycosides, bacitracin, cephalosporins, and vancomycin.

If you are a kidney disease sufferer, take antibiotics only if they have been prescribed for you by your doctor.

WHAT ABOUT LAXATIVES?

Generally speaking, laxatives that are purchased over-the-counter are safe for chronic kidney disease patients, but some of the prescription laxatives that doctors prescribe can be damaging to the kidneys.

Doctors may prescribe sodium phosphate products as laxatives or in preparation for colonoscopy.

If you are a kidney disease patient and you are planning to undergo any surgery, be certain to talk with your doctors about the drugs that may used for that surgery.

WHAT IS A CONTRAST DYE, AND CAN IT HURT YOU?

Imaging tests such as MRIs, angiograms, and CT-scans use a dye called “contrast dye.”

Contrast dyes can damage the kidneys, but not all imaging tests contain these dyes.

Again, if you suffer from kidney disease, always have a discussion with all of your doctors before taking any medical test or undergoing any medical operation or procedure.

WHAT ABOUT ILLEGAL DRUGS?

Some drugs are illegal because they are quite dangerous.

Most illegal “street” drugs – including cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy, for example – cause high blood pressure, heart failure, strokes, and, all too frequently, death.

Cocaine, heroin, opioids, and amphetamines also can cause serious kidney damage.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

Especially if you are a kidney disease patient, be safe with anything that can be considered a medicine.

Read and adhere closely to all of the instructions.

Make sure to inform every one of your doctors about all of the medications, herbal supplements, or vitamins that you use.

Do not take anything that may be considered a medicine without a prescription or your doctor’s approval.

According to the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, five percent of medical patients in the United States– or about twelve million of us – are misdiagnosed each year.

If you struggle with kidney disease and you have been misdiagnosed, and/or if you’ve been given the wrong prescription at any time since you started seeking treatment, you should speak right away with a medical malpractice attorney.

Doctors are no longer allowed to prescribe innocuous placebos.

Instead, they must offer something that works, even if it’s possibly dangerous.

New pharmaceuticals are made available every year, and while these new drugs often save lives, in other cases they have caused traumatic injuries and even death.

ARE YOU AT RISK?

The National Kidney Foundation reports that roughly twenty-six million people in the United States have chronic kidney disease and that another twenty million of us are at risk.

That means there are plenty of opportunities for physicians to prescribe the wrong drug and commit medical malpractice.

Whenever a prescription is written for a patient, at least two healthcare providers are involved: the doctor and the pharmacist.

Both professionals are obligated to make certain that the prescription serves a genuine medical purpose and is written by healthcare provider acting in the usual course of his or her professional healthcare practice.

CAN A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEY HELP ME?

If you’ve been injured or made ill as the result of a misdiagnosis, or if you have suffered lasting or serious side effects from using any prescription pharmaceutical or over-the-counter drug anywhere in the United States, discuss your case at once with a skilled medical malpractice attorney.

Don’t wait – in every state, a statute of limitations restricts the amount of time you have to take legal action.

For a medical malpractice claim arising from a wrong prescription to succeed, it must be backed up by evidence that a kidney disease was misdiagnosed and/or that a prescription was written for the wrong medication.

If you can prove that you were harmed or that your health deteriorated due to malpractice, you are legally entitled to compensation, but you must take the first step and make the call as quickly as possible.

Does Kidney Disease Increase Your Risk For Diabetes?

Posted on: December 19, 2017 by in Blog
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It’s been known for a long time that diabetes can increase the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). But is the reverse also true? What have researchers learned about chronic kidney disease increasing the risk of diabetes?

If you struggle with either diabetes or CKD, keep reading. You should know what the researchers are discovering, and you should also know what your rights are as a diabetes or chronic kidney disease patient.

“Diabetes is often a sign of kidney disease and also a cause of kidney disease,” according to medical malpractice attorney Jed Kurzban, and the evidence confirms this.

New epidemiological research conducted in St. Louis at the Washington University School of Medicine indicates strongly that chronic kidney disease raises the risk for diabetes.

The Washington University researchers have identified urea – nitrogen produced when digestion breaks down protein – as the probable link between diabetes and CKD.

The research findings were published in December 2017 by Kidney International, the journal of the International Society of Nephrology.

IS HAVING A HIGH UREA LEVEL A TREATABLE CONDITION?

Healthy kidneys efficiently remove urea and other waste products from the blood, but urea can accumulate when someone’s kidney function declines, leading to impaired insulin secretion.

A high urea level, however, is a treatable condition. For most chronic kidney disease patients, a low-protein diet enhances chronic kidney disease treatment and will help to prevent diabetes.

Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, a Washington University assistant professor of medicine, led the team of researchers. He said, “We have known for a long time that diabetes is a major risk factor for kidney disease, but now we have a better understanding that kidney disease, through elevated levels of urea, also raises the risk of diabetes.”

The research team evaluated the medical records of 1.3 million adults in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ databases for five years to study the possible links between diabetes and chronic kidney disease.

About nine percent of the patients had high levels of urea, indicating poor kidney health.

WHAT ELSE DID WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS FIND?

Dr. Al-Aly says that percentage “is also reflective of the general population.” Researchers found that patients with higher levels of urea had a higher risk of diabetes – by about 23 percent.

In each of the five years under study, the patients with higher urea levels were more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than patients with lower urea levels.

Dr. Al-Aly says this particular study of chronic kidney disease and diabetes was based on laboratory research that had been previously conducted at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre.

The results of that research were published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in August 2016.

The Montreal research team induced kidney failure in mice; the mice reacted with elevated urea levels and impaired insulin secretion.

“Our results were almost an exact replica of the mouse study,” Dr. Al-Aly said. “The results showed a clear relationship between urea levels and risk of diabetes.”

HOW MANY SUFFER WITH DIABETES AND KIDNEY DISEASE?

Chronic kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States; diabetes is the seventh. The American Kidney Fund estimates that about 31 million people in the United States – or about ten percent of the adult population – have chronic kidney disease.

Approximately half of those patients also have diabetes. And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2015 that 30.3 million people in the U.S. have diabetes.

With so many people suffering from diabetes and chronic kidney disease, there are plenty of opportunities for medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice is any negligence by a healthcare professional that results in the deterioration of a patient’s medical condition, an additional injury to the patient, or the patient’s wrongful death.

Every year in the United States, about twelve million adults with chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and other serious, progressive medical conditions are misdiagnosed in hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices.

Misdiagnosing a severe medical condition and prescribing the wrong medication or treatment on the basis of that misdiagnosis can severely harm someone who is already suffering. Such misdiagnosis is medical malpractice.

HOW ARE DIABETES AND CKD DIAGNOSED? AND WHO’S AT RISK?

Simple blood tests can detect kidney disease, diabetes, and a variety of other medical conditions, but the symptoms of CKD and diabetes may be slight, particularly in their early stages. Nevertheless, a failure to identify those symptoms can mean that vital treatment is delayed or denied.

However, if diagnosed early and accurately, and if treated properly, kidney disease and diabetes can usually be managed, and most patients can maintain a relatively normal lifestyle.

Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, Native Americans, and persons over the age of 60 are the high-risk groups for chronic kidney disease.

High cholesterol, obesity, physical injuries, and other illnesses can also contribute to the risk. But the most dangerous thing that a chronic kidney disease patient might encounter is medical malpractice.

The toughest challenge that chronic kidney disease presents is its stealthy, insidious nature. It is almost always a subtle disease that progresses incrementally over a period of years, and many people don’t even realize that they have CKD in its early stages.

If you are over 60, or if you belong to one of the high-risk groups, yearly screening for chronic kidney disease is imperative, because it can strike anyone.

WHAT KIND OF MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE CAN CONSTITUTE MALPRACTICE?

Whenever a healthcare provider fails to order the appropriate tests or fails to follow up after an irregular test result, that failure constitutes medical malpractice.

With the help of reliable medical experts, a medical malpractice attorney can determine if a particular misdiagnosis constitutes malpractice.

Where chronic kidney disease and diabetes are concerned, medical malpractice is unacceptable, and in many cases, it’s dangerous.

If your health has deteriorated because of an inaccurate diabetes or chronic kidney disease diagnosis, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

If malpractice took place, you are entitled by law to full compensation for your pain, suffering, and additional medical expenses, but to obtain that compensation, you’ll have to prove that malpractice caused your health to decline, so you’ll need an attorney’s help.

Nothing is more important than your health. If you are a chronic kidney disease patient, a diabetes patient, or both, and you are also a victim of medical malpractice, the law is on your side.

An experienced medical malpractice attorney can discuss your rights and options, which may include a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you are a medical malpractice victim, help is a phone call away.

Can Caffeine Prolong The Life Of Kidney Disease Patients?

Posted on: November 18, 2017 by in Blog
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More than 30 million people in the United States, or about ten percent of the adult population, have chronic kidney disease (CKD). Could you be at risk for CKD?

And if you struggle with CKD, is there anything you’re not doing that could improve your condition – or even help you live longer? Keep reading. You may be pleasantly surprised by what the researchers are finding.

In the U.S., more than 48,000 people died from kidney disease in 2014. It’s the nation’s ninth leading cause of death. CKD is a progressive medical condition.

Over time, the kidneys slowly become unable to filter waste products and water from the bloodstream. CKD may progress to end-stage renal disease.

When that happens, dialysis or a kidney transplant are the only options.

However, a new study has found a simple strategy that may help CKD patients live longer – drinking more coffee.

Researchers assessed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a decade-long comprehensive national health study conducted from 1999 through 2010 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They identified 2,328 participants with chronic kidney disease.

HOW WAS THE NEW RESEARCH CONDUCTED?

Researchers concluded that CKD patients who drank the most coffee reduced their mortality risk by as much as 24 percent. And no, the study wasn’t paid for by Folgers or Starbucks.

It was presented at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology in New Orleans.

CKD patients were divided into four groups – quartiles – based on daily caffeine consumption:

– Quartile one subjects consumed less than 29.5 milligrams of caffeine a day.
– Quartile two subjects consumed from 30.5 to 101 milligrams of caffeine a day.
– Quartile three subjects consumed from 101.5 to 206 milligrams of caffeine a day.
– Quartile four subjects consumed more than 206.5 milligrams and up to 1,378.5 milligrams of caffeine a day.

Other recent studies have indicated that caffeine may have life-prolonging benefits, but according to the study’s co-author, Dr. Bigotte Vieira, this research is the first to examine the impact of caffeine on chronic kidney disease and mortality.

Dr. Vieira advises that the research is only observational and does not prove a direct cause-and-effect link between caffeine and a longer lifespan for CKD patients.

Measured against participants in the first quartile of caffeine consumption, those who drank the most coffee – those in the fourth quartile – reduced their risk of premature death by 24 percent.

Those in the third quartile reduced that risk by 22 percent, while those in the second quartile reduced the risk of premature death by 12 percent.

WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH MEAN FOR CKD PATIENTS?

The statistics are a bit complicated – researchers had to account for the age, race, gender, smoking status, blood pressure, and body mass index of the participants – but the takeaway is that one or two extra cups of coffee a day can’t hurt and might even help chronic kidney disease patients.

According to Dr. Vieira, “These results suggest that advising patients with CKD to drink more caffeine may reduce their mortality. This would represent a simple, clinically beneficial, and inexpensive option, though this benefit should ideally be confirmed in a randomized clinical trial.”

In his response to the research findings, National Kidney Foundation spokesperson Dr. Leslie Spry said, “I hope this is the case, as I sit here and drink my morning coffee.” Dr. Spry added, “As you know, there are studies of coffee being harmful, beneficial and having no effect on health.”

On the basis of only one research study, Dr. Spry said it’s not clear that CKD patients are going to live longer simply by drinking more coffee. “I would rather say that compared to little or no caffeine intake, those people with the highest intake of caffeine as estimated by dietary recall, may have a lower mortality, but the reason for this lower mortality is not proven by this association research.”

WHAT OTHER STEPS CAN CKD PATIENTS TAKE?

If you have chronic kidney disease, you may want to discuss caffeine and coffee consumption with your doctor, but for most CKD patients, your doctor will probably leave your coffee choices up to you.

However, there some simple and inexpensive measures that people dealing with CKD can take to maintain their health.

Those measures include:

Eating the right way: For CKD patients, it’s imperative. Almost all CKD patients need to reduce their sodium consumption, but the wise move is consulting a professional dietician.

Talking to your doctor about your medications: When the kidneys don’t function properly, drugs and their residue can remain in remain the body and harm your health.

Learning about medical malpractice: With over thirty million CKD sufferers in the U.S., CKD patients are frequent medical malpractice victims.

If you believe that you may be a victim of medical malpractice, consult a qualified medical malpractice lawyer as swiftly as possible.

The failure to obtain an accurate early diagnosis of CKD and the right treatment can lead to kidney failure, a lifetime of drugs and dialysis, or the necessity of a kidney transplant.

However, millions of people in the United States manage CKD and live their lives with only the most minor inconveniences. Patients who follow their doctor’s advice are usually able to remain relatively healthy.

HOW CAN A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEY HELP?

However, if an incident of medical malpractice happens while you are being treated for CKD, your condition could quickly decline.

If you become a victim of medical malpractice, or if you aren’t sure, but you believe that you’ve experienced malpractice, contact a skilled medical malpractice attorney as quickly as possible. What constitutes medical malpractice?

Healthcare professionals are expected to provide their patients with a “reasonable” standard of care – for example, by ordering reasonable tests, by examining test results promptly and accurately, and by referring patients to specialists when it’s indicated.

When healthcare professionals do not provide a reasonable standard of care, they are negligent.

When medical negligence injures a patient, that patient is entitled to compensation for his or her additional medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering, and sometimes more.

Nothing is more important than your health. If you suffer with CKD, and medical malpractice happens, take no chances – take your case at once to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who routinely represents CKD patients and advocates on their behalf.

Air Pollution Linked To Increased Risk Of Kidney Disease

Posted on: October 19, 2017 by in Blog
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Everyone knows that breathing dirty air is bad for your lungs, but did you also know that polluted air may be bad for your kidneys, substantially increasing your risk for kidney disease?

If you’re a kidney disease patient, if you’re at risk for kidney disease, or if you love someone who is, you’re about to learn some details that you need to know – about the air you breathe.

Research in the past has hinted at the impact of air pollution on the kidneys. Coal mining towns often report high rates of kidney disease, and lab mice forced to breathe exhaust particles show the symptoms of kidney damage.

Now, recently published research strongly suggests that air pollution may cause, contribute to, and exacerbate chronic kidney disease.

Stated simply, bad air is bad for the kidneys. Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly of the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System, one of the research team leaders, flatly states,

“Air pollution is a risk factor for kidney disease development.” He told Reuters Health, “You can argue that it’s even more of a problem in countries like China or India, where pollution is much, much, much worse.”

WHAT ARE THE DETAILS BEHIND THE RESEARCH?

The research was published online in September in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The research team assessed the medical data for more than 2.4 million veterans – data compiled over more than eight years – in an attempt to gauge the impact of air pollution on the kidneys.

When we breathe bad air, we inhale particulate matter, tiny fragments in the air that are produced by industrial processes that include fossil fuel combustion.

Fragments with a diameter tinier than 2.5 micrometers may be inhaled deeply and easily. The particles are already linked to strokes, diabetes, heart disease, and shorter life spans.

Researchers compared the medical conditions of the vets, including information on the glomerular filtration rate (a measure of kidney function), against county-by-county air pollution data supplied by the Environmental Protection Agency and by NASA.

WHAT WERE THE RESEARCH FINDINGS?

The research team found that veterans residing in counties with the highest particulate matter levels were more likely to belong to two high-risk categories for kidney disease.

First, they were predominantly African-American, and secondly, they suffered predominantly from diabetes and high blood pressure.

As researchers reviewed the entire eight years of medical data for the veterans, they learned that higher particulate matter levels were statistically consistent with a heightened risk for end-stage renal disease, when kidneys no longer function and dialysis – or a kidney transplant – is necessary to keep a kidney disease patient alive.

The New York Times report on the research study emphasized these conclusions: “The scientists calculate that ‘unhealthy’ pollution levels lead to an annual increase of 44,793 cases of chronic kidney disease, and 2,438 cases of end-stage kidney disease requiring dialysis. Even levels below those considered ‘safe’ increased risk.”

Possibly most disturbing is the finding that even at pollution levels below the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limit of 12 micrograms per cubic meter, kidney damage was significant. “The message is that no level of air pollution is really safe,” says Dr. Al-Aly.

For each increase of ten micrograms of fine particulates per cubic meter of air, the risk of kidney disease rose by 27 percent, and the risk of kidney failure rose by 26 percent.

Dr. Al-Aly and his researchers were not able to prove a conclusive, direct link between particulate matter and chronic kidney disease, but we know that particulate matter can spread to the kidneys through the bloodstream, causing stress, inflammation, and probably other damage to the kidneys.

DID OTHER RESEARCHERS AGREE WITH THESE FINDINGS?

Reuters Health asked Dr. Jennifer Bregg-Gresham of the Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center at the University of Michigan to review the research conducted by Dr. Al-Aly’s team.

She concluded, “These new findings support that even low levels of fine particulate matter air pollution across the U.S. can increase the risk of serious kidney problems.”

“Given the millions of people with and at-risk for kidney disease who are impacted by air pollution, this has serious public health implications,” Dr. Bregg-Gresham added.

She suggests that exposure to particulate matter can be reduced with indoor air purification, and in heavily polluted cities, using an inexpensive respirator N95 facemask.

Vlado Perkovic, a kidney specialist at the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia, also reviewed the findings. “It’s an incredibly careful analysis,” according to Perkovic. He also said, “These findings are going to have huge public health relevance.”

HOW WIDESPREAD IS KIDNEY DISEASE IN THE U.S.?

The findings may also explain why some people with none of the typical indicators of risk for kidney disease – such as hypertension and diabetes – still develop the condition.

Nearly 45,000 new patients with chronic kidney disease are diagnosed each year in the United States. That’s in addition to an estimated 26 million of us who are already struggling with kidney disease.

With so many kidney disease patients, the opportunities for serious medical mistakes are abundant. With the proper treatment, kidney disease can usually be halted or slowed at the earliest stages and managed without great inconvenience.

Without proper testing, diagnosis, and treatment, chronic kidney disease will inevitably advance to total kidney failure.

When you have a medical checkup, urine tests and blood tests are routine.

If the results are misinterpreted, or if the indications of kidney disease are not even recognized, a specialist won’t be consulted, treatment will not proceed, and a patient’s kidney health can deteriorate rapidly.

That constitutes medical malpractice, and if it happens to you, you’ll want to discuss your rights with a trustworthy medical malpractice attorney.

HOW IS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE DEFINED?

Medical malpractice is defined as the violation of the “reasonable standard of care” provided by most doctors, but it is usually difficult for a kidney disease patient to know whether he or she is a medical malpractice victim.

Every malpractice case is unique, and every accusation of malpractice must be thoroughly investigated by a qualified medical malpractice attorney.

If you don’t have chronic kidney disease, chances are that you know someone who does – perhaps in your own family. The truth is that medical malpractice in the United States is responsible for more deaths each year than kidney disease.

The victims of medical malpractice are often entitled to substantial compensation, and their actions also protect others by deterring future incidents of malpractice. Don’t risk your health.

If you even suspect that you or your loved one may be a medical malpractice victim, speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney at once.

Can Poor Sleep Escalate Kidney Disease?

Posted on: September 18, 2017 by in Blog
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Millions of men and women around the globe – in every ethnic group, nation, and walk of life – suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The World Health Organization reports that chronic kidney disease is a leading cause of death worldwide, and fatalities linked to chronic kidney disease are rising at a rate of eight percent annually. Kidney disease is a growing international health concern.

According to National Kidney Foundation estimates, about 26 million of us in the U.S. suffer with CKD, and it’s responsible for over 90,000 deaths in this country every year.

New research published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology suggests that good sleeping habits are essential for anyone who is struggling with chronic kidney disease.

The researchers found significant evidence indicating that a lack of sleep and poor sleeping habits may exacerbate CKD and even increase the speed of the disease’s progression.

Researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Chicago worked together to examine the 431 participants in the study and the link between sleep and the progress of chronic kidney disease.

CKD is the incremental loss of kidney function, usually over a period of years or even decades.

Although chronic kidney disease may eventually progress to kidney failure, and although there is no cure, if CKD is diagnosed early and accurately and treated properly, the majority of chronic kidney disease patients can manage the condition with prescription drugs and without significantly disrupting their lives, families, or everyday routines.

CKD may be caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, or a number of other conditions. Early diagnosis and treatment are absolutely imperative.

Poor sleeping habits are associated with insulin resistance, deteriorating cardiac function, high levels of inflammation, and poor appetite regulation.

Older studies have indicated that poor sleeping habits are common among chronic kidney disease patients, but apparently no previous researchers – prior to the combined Northwestern/University of Illinois effort – have directly investigated the impact of poor sleeping habits on the progression of CKD.

HOW WAS THE RESEARCH CONDUCTED?

In this most recent study, 48 percent of the participants were women, half had diabetes, and the mean age of participants was 60.

Participants wore an accelerometer – a device that measures motion and sleep duration – for a period of five to seven days.

Participants also maintained a sleep journal and logged in writing the hours they slept.

Five years of follow-up monitoring was then conducted by researchers.

Dr. Ana Ricardo, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Illinois, reports, “We observed that sleep is seriously impaired in these patients with chronic kidney disease.”

The average period of sleep for the study participants was 6.5 hours each night. Frequently interrupted sleep, a condition known as “sleep fragmentation,” was linked with a heightened risk of eventual kidney failure.

Shorter periods of sleep and longer bouts of fragmentation were linked to a more rapid progression of CKD. During the five-year follow-up period, 70 of the participants experienced kidney failure, leading to 48 deaths.

WHAT DID THE RESEARCHERS FIND?

After making statistical adjustments for demographics, diabetes, blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, body mass index, and baseline kidney function, researchers linked each added hour of sleep to a 19 percent lower risk for eventual kidney failure.

Researchers also found a significant link between the risk of kidney failure and the quality of sleep: every one percent increase in sleep fragmentation corresponded to a 4 percent increased

Researchers also found a significant link between the risk of kidney failure and the quality of sleep: every one percent increase in sleep fragmentation corresponded to a 4 percent increased risk of eventual kidney failure.

Patients who felt sleepy in the daytime were ten percent more likely to die in the five-year follow-up period than who did not feel fatigue during the daytime.

“Each hour less of sleep duration increases the risk for deterioration of kidney function over time,” according to Dr. Ricardo.

She added that many patients who are suffering with chronic kidney disease are also likely to experience problems with sleep apnea because the conditions share risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.

“If we find that sleep apnea is a main driver of poor sleep among patients with chronic kidney disease, then perhaps ensuring that it is treated can help improve overall outcomes,” Dr. Ricardo concluded.

CKD patients should actively attempt to learn more about their condition. Reliable resources are provided by the American Kidney Fund, the National Kidney Foundation, and a number of other sources.

Patients must not hesitate to ask questions, and they should accept nothing but clear, candid, and comprehensive responses from their healthcare providers.

You must feel that the doctors and others who provide your healthcare services are trustworthy.

ARE YOU AT RISK FOR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?

In fact, if you’ve received a diagnosis of CKD, you cannot put yourself in the hands of negligent or careless healthcare providers.

With 26 million CKD sufferers in the United States, the opportunities for medical malpractice in the treatment of CKD are abundant.

If you are victimized by medical malpractice while seeking or obtaining CKD treatment, take your case at once to an experienced medical malpractice attorney who routinely works on behalf of CKD patients.

Treatment for kidney disease is advancing rapidly on a number of promising fronts, so there is no reason whatsoever for a kidney disease patient to suffer unnecessarily.

When CKD is diagnosed accurately and early, its progress can be slowed or even virtually halted. Many patients successfully manage CKD for years. However, in too many other cases, an early, accurate diagnosis of CKD and the right treatment just don’t happen.

When tests and examinations are not conducted, when test and exam results are misinterpreted, when a needed referral isn’t made, or when CKD goes untreated or is improperly treated, medical malpractice has been committed.

Under the law in every state, although the precise wording of the statutes may differ, medical malpractice is generally defined as a violation of the “reasonable standard of care” that most doctors routinely provide, but it’s often difficult to determine on your own whether or not you are a victim of medical malpractice.

Every allegation of medical malpractice is unique, and every malpractice case must be comprehensively considered from a number of perspectives.

If you are dealing with chronic kidney disease and you believe that you are a victim of medical negligence, obtain the advice and insights of an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can explain your legal rights and options, and if necessary, advocate on your behalf.

In all fifty states, the victims of negligence – who can prove they are victims of negligence – are entitled by law to complete compensation for their injuries, losses, and suffering.

Kidney Disease On The Rise In The U.S.

Posted on: August 19, 2017 by in Blog
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If you have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, you cannot afford to deal with careless or negligent healthcare providers.

If you become a victim of medical malpractice while seeking kidney disease treatment, discuss your legal rights and options with a trustworthy medical malpractice attorney who is familiar with kidney disease and its consequences.

Kidney disease treatment has advanced significantly in less than a century, and there’s no reason for kidney disease patients to suffer needlessly.

That wasn’t the case in the 1930s, when Dr. Willem Kolff first began developing an artificial kidney. Prior to that decade and prior to Dr. Kolff’s work, chronic kidney disease was inevitably a death sentence for most patients.

During the next three decades, Dr. Kolff and other researchers developed the kidney dialysis procedure, a landmark medical breakthrough that now allows millions around the world to live with kidney injuries and failures.

The demand for kidney research and kidney disease research continues to grow in the 21st century. The World Health Organization reports that chronic kidney disease is the number twelve cause of death in the world and is increasing globally by eight percent every year.

In the United States alone, about 40 million of us struggle with kidney disease, while about 650,000 of us are dealing with kidney failure.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are major contributors to what can only be described as a global and national kidney disease epidemic.

WHAT DOES THE U.S. SPEND ON KIDNEY DISEASE RESEARCH?

Earlier this year, a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) showed that funding for kidney research and kidney disease prevention lags far behind the billions spent for research on other diseases.

The National Institute of Health spends less than half-a-billion dollars – from a $30 billion budget – on kidney disease studies, yet kidney disease still afflicts 40 million patients in the U.S. Despite the extent of the kidney disease epidemic, only about $14 per patient is marked for kidney disease research in the United States. More can be done.

Action needs to be quick, because the number of kidney disease sufferers continues to grow. In 2017, almost one in ten adults in the U.S. is struggling with diabetes, while a third of adults deal with high blood pressure. Those percentages likely mean millions more kidney disease patients in the years ahead.

More investment in research is imperative for saving lives and reducing the pressure that kidney disease puts on Medicare and the healthcare system as a whole.

This year, Congress can invest in kidney research that could benefit millions of kidney disease patients in our country.

WHAT IS THE PROPOSAL NOW BEING CONSIDERED BY CONGRESS?

The proposed Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act of 2017 would amend the current law that does not allow Medicare beneficiaries under age 65 who are on kidney dialysis to purchase Medigap, the supplemental insurance that covers the twenty percent of costs that Medicare does not pay.

Patients who require dialysis now pay about $7,200 a year just for their dialysis treatments, which are usually required three times a week.

Additionally, these patients must deal with the out-of-pocket expense of visits to a doctor and services such as diabetic care.

Sponsored by Representatives Tom Marino of Pennsylvania, John Lewis of Georgia, and Peter Roskam of Illinois, the proposal would fund additional new research to enhance kidney disease treatment technologies.

The bill also includes provisions to improve home dialysis services and palliative care services. Lawmakers can – and should – act on this proposed legislation before the end of the year.

Early and accurate diagnosis is imperative for every kidney disease patient. Anyone with a family history of kidney disease, and everyone age sixty and over, should be tested regularly for chronic kidney disease.

Another threat that kidney disease patients may face is medical malpractice, which the Journal of the American Medical Association has identified as the number three cause of death in the United States.

The number of deaths caused by preventable errors in hospitals in the U.S. may be as high as 100,000 a year, according to several studies. Medical malpractice costs us more than $3.6 billion every year in the United States.

IF YOU ARE A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE VICTIM, WHERE CAN YOU TURN?

When a doctor does not accurately diagnose someone’s kidney disease, the delay in treatment may exacerbate that patient’s condition, leading to severe complications.

If you are a kidney disease patient who has been misdiagnosed in the past – or if you are misdiagnosed in the future – discuss your rights and options with a qualified medical malpractice attorney.

You may be able to recover monetary damages by pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The victims of medical malpractice are entitled by law to monetary compensation, but proving medical malpractice isn’t easy.

Victims will need the sound advice and aggressive legal advocacy that only a skilled medical malpractice lawyer who exclusively represents kidney disease patients can provide.

If you’re a kidney disease patient and a victim of medical malpractice, you’ve been victimized twice. A skilled medical malpractice attorney can help.

Healthy kidneys are essential. If your kidneys do not work properly due to chronic kidney disease, you are at risk for a number of health problems.

Kidney disease can almost always be detected easily with inexpensive laboratory testing, and an accurate and early diagnosis can often minimize the effects of kidney disease without a patient necessarily progressing to end-stage kidney failure. The diagnosis, however, must be accurate, and the treatment recommendation must be sound.

The kinds of medical mistakes that kidney disease patients face include misdiagnosis and a failure to diagnose, inappropriate treatments, improper prescriptions, unneeded surgeries, and surgical mistakes.

Medical malpractice is defined by the law as the negligence of a healthcare professional that causes a decline in a patient’s medical condition, causes additional injury to the patient, or is responsible for a patient’s wrongful death.

While millions live with kidney disease in the United States, research tells us that far too many kidney disease patients are – or will be – the victims of medical malpractice.

If you or someone you love has been a victim of misdiagnosis or any other medical malpractice while seeking treatment for kidney disease, speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney to learn more about your rights, your recourse, and your options for taking legal action.

Workplace Accommodations When You Have Kidney Disease

Posted on: July 23, 2017 by in Blog
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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients are sometimes the victims of medical malpractice, and when they are, they’ll need the advice and services of a skilled medical malpractice attorney.

A misdiagnosis, a wrong prescription, or a surgical mistake can dramatically and negatively impact a CKD patient’s health, and when that happens, that patient is entitled to compensation – and to justice.

Medical malpractice, however, is not always the only legal concern that a CKD patient has to face. Kidney disease patients who want to remain in the workforce sometimes encounter employment discrimination.

Chronic kidney disease is usually managed rather than cured.

When CKD is diagnosed early and accurately, progress from the early stages to advanced kidney disease can be slowed, and most CKD patients are able to avoid the need for kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant.

When CKD patients adhere to the advice of their doctors, most are able to maintain normal lives, keep their jobs, and manage CKD with only minor inconveniences.

Still, thousands in the United States are living with kidney failure. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, about 430,000 people in the U.S. are on kidney dialysis, and approximately 185,000 have received a kidney transplant.

For decades, disability rights advocates have acted to protect the rights of working people who struggle with chronic diseases and other disabilities. Those rights are now safeguarded by a number of important federal laws.

WHAT LAWS PROTECT WORKERS WITH CHRONIC DISEASES?

The Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1991, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 provide substantial legal protections to working persons who struggle with chronic diseases and other disabling conditions.

These federal statutes also spell out the guidelines for employer compliance. The law makes it easier for anyone who is struggling with CKD to stay in the work force and to live a more-or-less normal life.

Of course, if you are back at work after a kidney transplant or after beginning dialysis, you and your employer may have to make some reasonable and slight adjustments.

Your schedule may need to be re-arranged for dialysis treatments. Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis patients may require a private and sterile area.

Some CKD patients may simply need less strenuous responsibilities. Federal law requires employers to make “reasonable” accommodations. You may feel reticent about asking for something special. Don’t. Reasonable accommodations are your right.

Thousands of CKD patients, dialysis patients, and transplant recipients work part time or full time throughout the United States.

Others pursue their educations, raise their children, and volunteer in their communities.

Many who start dialysis or receive a transplant want to work and want to return to their everyday routines as soon as possible. Others may need some time off to adjust to kidney dialysis or to recuperate from surgery.

Either way, if you need for your employer to make one or more reasonable accommodations, you need to ask your employer for those accommodations.

Most employers know the law and are prepared to comply, but your employer cannot know what you need until you ask.

Your employer also may not know that employers can earn tax credits by making certain accommodations to the workplace.

WHAT DOES THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT REQUIRE?

There may also be questions about your health benefits. If your employer seems worried or confused, your doctor or someone else providing your healthcare can probably provide the details about your illness and abilities that will relieve your employer’s concerns.

If your employer is a business with fifteen or more employees, your employer is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to make reasonable accommodations that employees may need, such as:

  • allowing for flexible schedules if possible
  • reassigning a worker to less strenuous work if it is available
  • providing handicapped access to rest rooms, parking areas, and work areas
  • reassigning some of your tasks to others

If you work for at least twenty weeks in a year for an employer with fifty or more employees, you may be eligible for leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows up to twelve weeks of job-protected but unpaid leave for medical reasons.

Employers may request medical documentation verifying an employee’s kidney disease and condition, but an employee cannot be penalized for taking medical leave that the employee is entitled to by law.

Immediate family members of CKD patients are entitled to the same leave if they need that time off to care for their family member.

If you believe that you are a victim of employment discrimination because of your kidney disease and accommodation needs, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recommends that you should first go through whatever procedures the company has established.

Usually, this involves filing a written grievance detailing the discrimination and submitting a copy to management or the HR department.

Union members should take their complaints to their locals. Always make and keep copies of your complaint, any responses to it, and any other pertinent documents.

CAN CKD PATIENTS RECEIVE DISABILITY BENEFITS?

When someone can’t work because of chronic kidney disease, disability benefits may be available. The Federal government offers Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI provides monthly benefits when someone is unable to work for at least a year due to a disability.

The amount of the benefit depends on your work history and your previous Social Security payments. SSI benefits, however, are based on financial need.

Whether you are managing chronic kidney disease in its early stages, dealing with kidney dialysis, or living with a transplanted kidney, your life is full of potential legal challenges and obstacles when you have a kidney disease.

Employment discrimination is one of those challenges. Obtaining benefits is another. Don’t hesitate to reach out for an attorney’s help to deal with either of these challenges.

Medical malpractice is also more common than you might think, and CKD sufferers are the frequent victims of medical negligence.

If you believe that you are a victim of medical malpractice as a chronic kidney disease patient, let an experienced medical malpractice attorney review the particulars of your case, explain your rights, and provide the sound legal advice you need.