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Did Your GP Fail To Diagnose Kidney Failure?

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a condition whereby the kidneys cease to work effectively. It is important this is diagnosed in a timely fashion, because without treatment the condition will steadily progress to established renal failure where the kidneys stop working altogether.

Detecting renal failure

However, there are sadly times when a patient with deteriorating kidney function is ignored by their GP, causing their illness to remain undetected. This can have devastating complications: at best a patient will require dialysis and a kidney transplant, although it is possible that a patient will not survive this long.

You may wonder how a GP can fail to spot kidney disease, as it can be readily diagnosed if the necessary tests are performed. But unfortunately it does happen, and some GPs even fail to detect renal failure in patients with a known history of chronic kidney disease.

Normally, a patient would attend their local GP practice complaining of symptoms such as weight loss, poor appetite, increased frequency of urination, pain or difficulty urinating, swollen ankles, feet or hands, itchy skin and shortness of breath.

A GP should recognise these symptoms as being indicative of kidney problems and waste no time in carrying out diagnostic tests. This is especially true if the patient also has a history of CKD, excessive alcohol consumption or is taking medication that can increase the risk of kidney damage (such as diabetes medication and NSAIDs). These tests should include:

  • A blood pressure test, to check whether a patient has high blood pressure;
  • A urine test, to check whether a patient has blood or protein in the urine;
  • A glomerular filtration rate (GFR) test, whereby a substance is injected into the bloodstream and 24 hour urine tests collected. This measures how well the kidneys are working.

Negligent management of kidney failure

These tests will help a GP determine whether or not a patient could be suffering from impaired renal function. If there is any suspicion of kidney failure, a patient should be urgently referred to hospital for further investigation.

But sadly some GPs do not bother to perform these tests, despite a patient repeatedly seeking medical assistance. Others do carry out the tests and yet do not act upon the results. This can be devastating for the patient in question, and the GPs failure to provide an acceptable standard of care could even prove fatal.

Claiming against your GP

If this has happened to you or your loved one, do not delay in speaking to a solicitor. It is very likely your GP has provided a substandard level of medical care, meaning you deserve to be compensated for the pain and suffering this has caused.

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Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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