Most Chronic Kidney Disease patients conducting Dialysis know how critical their monthly labs are, and that is why they are so willing to do regular blood work. If their phosphorus is elevated, even slightly, then they may have to greatly adjust their diets. In other cases, if their blood counts are lower, it may require patients to make rather expensive investments in nutritional supplements. Yet, what if the lab results were wrong? Well, reports are now shedding light on the underbelly of Dialysis Lab Testing and unfortunately, lab results from blood work appear to be inconsistent and inaccurate (wrong).
Research revealed that unbeknownst (unknown) to most Dialysis patients there is no uniform blood test used to provide their lab results. Instead, different testing methods are used which offer different results - making them inconsistent and potentially providing incorrect information.
As most patients would guess, these inconsistent lab reports mean that doctors are left to make important patient-care decisions based on potentially incorrect information. Clearly, this could put Chronic Kidney Disease patients in serious jeopardy. Also, Dialysis patients may be paying for unnecessary and costly nutritional supplements because of faulty reports from their blood work.
Dr. Emaad Abdel-Rahman (Nephrologist, University of Virginia) said, “We base lots of our decisions on lab parameters, and they have to be as accurate as possible. Obviously, this puts a shadow on the results, and these are not as clear as they should be."
Now, this is major news, but what can you do as a Dialysis patient? Well, first take action by signing the below petition to request that the Federal Guidelines for Dialysis patient lab testing are uniform and address these discrepancies to improve care for patients.
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What's more, monitor your lab reports. If something seems strange or incorrect to you, then immediately bring it to the attention to your Healthcare Team. If necessary, consider requesting a second lab test to identify any inaccuracies.
Moreover, not all Healthcare Professionals are aware of these findings. Print this article and share it with your Healthcare Team so that they too are aware of the issue. Do not be afraid to have a conversation with them to ensure that your testing is being completed via a uniform method with consistent benchmarks. Also, share this link on Social Media and email for other patients.
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