Kidney Transplant - Medical Malpractice Lawyer

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Kidney Transplant - Medical Malpractice

A kidney transplant is the best treatment for people with end-stage renal disease or "kidney failure". You can't use drugs to treat end stage kidney disease and dialysis is a cumbersome treatment. When a person gets a kidney transplant, they no longer have renal failure and can function basically normally. Dialysis is the term for artificially filtering the blood. They give up some of their freedom because dialysis causes people to give up much of their time.

Kidney transplant means putting in a working kidney from a living or diseased individual, called a "donor". Those who receive a kidney transplant must take medication to prevent rejection of the kidney and must be monitored by a nephrologist or kidney specialist their whole life.

About 350,000 people in the US suffer from end stage renal disease and about 67,000 of these people die from the disease. About 47,000 people in the US are waiting for a transplanted kidney but only a small proportion of these people actually get a kidney due to the short supply of kidneys. It can take years to receive a kidney.

Normally, the kidneys filter waste from the bloodstream and send it to the urine where it is eliminated. The electrolytes in your body are balanced by the kidneys and chemicals and toxins are removed from the blood. Excess water is removed as the main part of the urine. Hormones are secreted by healthy kidneys in order to absorb calcium from the GI tract and build the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. Blood pressure is regulated by normal kidneys.

Kidney failure is caused by the kidneys failing to do their job. It can be acute and sudden in response to an illness or insult to the kidneys. It is often completely reversible if you can cure the cause of the kidney failure. Chronic kidney failure can be caused by diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure and often cannot be reversed. Some kinds of kidney failure are hereditary and cannot be reversed. Infections, drugs and toxins can sometimes irreversibly damage the kidneys.

You can get kidney failure most likely if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, hemolytic uremic syndrome, lupus, glomerular disease, sickle cell anemia, major surgery, major injury, burns, heart disease or liver failure. Vascular disease, inherited kidney diseases, amyloidosis and obstructive kidney disease can also contribute to kidney failure.

Symptoms and signs of chronic kidney failure requiring kidney transplantation include anemia, pulmonary edema, fluid retention peripherally, high blood pressure, weakened bones, amyloidosis, bleeding problems, stomach ulcers, and sleeping difficulties. In the earliest stages of the disease, many people have no symptoms because the kidneys compensate for the failure. It is only when a large portion of the kidneys are damaged that symptoms begin to appear. It is not a painful disease.

Other symptoms related to kidney disease include urinating less than normal, increased frequency and urgency, bleeding from clotting problems, easy bruising, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, loss of appetite and pain in the muscles or joints. You can have pale skin from anemia, bone fractures or bone pain and itching.

Treatment options include dialysis and kidney transplant. With kidney transplant, you can find a related or unrelated living kidney donor or use a cadaver donor. The kidney is matched according to your and your donor's blood type and HLA type. You have to go through a complete medical workup before you can have the transplant so that you know you qualify for the transplant and are healthy enough.

Dialysis is the interim treatment for kidney transplant in order to completely clear the body of toxins while you are waiting for the transplant. The surgeon then secures a donor kidney and it is placed in your abdomen with your damaged kidneys left in place. The donor kidney is not placed in place of the diseased kidney but is placed elsewhere and attached to the ureter. It is also attached to an artery and vein so it has the proper blood supply.

Anti rejection drugs are given for the rest of your life so that you can enjoy your new kidney without rejection.

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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here