Sad news as a lawsuit claims that a South Dakota surgeon mistakenly removed a patient's kidney instead of removing a mass on the patient's Adrenal Gland. While this disaster may seem a bit far-fetched, it highlights an important and growing issue for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients.
Many Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients may not realize that Medical Errors have become the third (3rd) leading cause of death in America, and is even higher in some countries outside of the United States. While shocking, a Johns Hopkins University study found that more than 250,000 people in the United States die every year from Medical Errors. Other reports claim the numbers to be as high as 440,000, according to CNBC News. Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients are at a higher risk because they are more vulnerable and are admitted to the hospital due to medical issues at a much higher rate than the general population.
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Dena Knapp, who is the woman who had her kidney mistakenly removed, was left with progressive Kidney Disease in her remaining kidney and suffers from pain, fatigue, depression and mental distress as a result of the error. This underscores the fact that after Medical Errors patients are the only ones who are left with having to pick up the pieces of the aftermath and are worse-off as a result. Dialysis patients experience Medical Errors frequently.
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One patient mentioned that they were put on to Dialysis for a regular treatment even though their AV Fistula had a major infiltration which occurred during a treatment earlier in the week. "The pain was horrifying," the patient later recalled. In another case, a patient experienced major blood loss during Dialysis after his needle slipped and his site started to leak. A faulty machine did not alarm, resulting in an extended stay in the hospital. Yet, another patient had her AV Fistula completely destroyed after an EMT resuscitated her from a car accident and used her Dialysis arm for blood pressure.
While these real-life errors seem a bit distant if you have not personally experienced one, it is critical for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients to protect themselves. Be sure to (1) Get your No BP/No Stick Wristbands to protect your Fistula, Graft or access site (click here), (2) Order your Dialysis Arm Sleeves to prevent Fistula or Graft infections and bleed-outs (click here), (3) Go online to research your Physician, Specialist, and Surgeon before becoming their patient (click here), (4) Clearly understand the purpose of every procedure that is recommended, and (4) Remain alert for anything that may seem out of the ordinary or may lead to a Medical Error.
What strategies do you use to help limit the risk of Medical Errors? Share your answers with the over 72,000 Friends who have liked KidneyBuzz.com on Facebook (click here). While you are there, like the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page and visit KidneyBuzz.com regularly (250,000 monthly viewers) for the latest tailored breaking news and information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure how to better manage and improve their lives. You may become a regular visitor like, Charles Griffin who said, "Praise God for KidneyBuzz."