Do You Suspect Negligence or Medical Malpractice?
Failure to Test • Delayed Diagnosis • Failure to Refer to a Specialist
Urine tests and blood tests are routine when one gets a physical or applies for life or health insurance. The tell-tale signs and symptoms of kidney disease can be seen in these tests, but they often go unrecognized because doctors are poorly trained or overworked, lab tests are misread, diagnostic treatments are not ordered, and specialists are not consulted.
Failing to Test, Diagnose and Refer is Medical Negligence
Certainly not every case of kidney failure is the result of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice has a very specific legal definition relating to the violation of a "reasonable standard of care" that would be provided by most doctors. Unless you are a medical doctor, you are unlikely to know what a reasonable standard of care means in your case so it is difficult for injured people to know if they are the victim of medical malpractice.
While every case is different and requires a thorough medical and legal review , here are a few factors that might cause you to suspect that medical malpractice played a role in your illness.
- When a urine test finds both protein and blood in the urine — technically known as "proteinuria" and "hematuria" — that is often a sign of kidney disease and it is reasonable to retest you after a short wait. If you have the same levels of protein and blood, it is reasonable for you to be referred to a specialist for more diagnostic testing.
- If a blood test shows decreased protein in the blood, increased creatinine, and an abnormal BUN, this signals a problem in the way your kidneys are filtering your blood, and you should undergo further testing.
- High blood pressure can cause kidney disease but even more often it can be a symptom of kidney disease. If your high blood pressure wasn't under control even after being on a regiment of medications, it may actually be the result of untreated kidney disease. If your doctor did not investigate kidney disease as a factor and order additional tests, that delay in diagnosis could have damaged your health.
Reasonable Referrals to a Specialist
General practitioners handle a wide range of medical problems. They cannot stay up to date on the latest developments in every area of medicine. That knowledge is held by specialists. After abnormal lab test results, it is reasonable for your family doctor to refer you to an expert for further investigation into your condition. It is reasonable for a family doctor to send a patient to an urologist for blood in the urine, but protein in the urine is typically related to a kidney problem so it would be reasonable to also send a patient to a kidney specialist (better known as a " nephrologist") to get a correct diagnosis.
Talk to An Attorney if You Suspect Malpractice
At the Miami, Florida law office of Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzeli & Pratt, P.A, our medical malpractice lawyers work with medical experts to determine if medical malpractice and misdiagnosis played a part in the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure.
We have been representing kidney disease patients for more than 25 years. Our in-depth understanding of this specialized area of medicine is valued by our Florida clients and by attorneys around the country who refer patients to us or work with us to help injured people in other parts of the U.S. achieve a settlement.
If your doctor failed to properly test for kidney disease or to refer you to a specialist when that was the reasonable thing to do, call 786-401-4706, or contact us by e-mail.