Can I File a Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawsuit For Dialysis Malpractice?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Medical Malpractice Published on April 17, 2024 and updated on April 30, 2024.

dialysis equipment at hospitalDialysis can be a lifesaving treatment for those with kidney failure, but it is risky. There are many things that could go wrong, such as doctors engaging in medical malpractice. Dialysis malpractice can result in serious injuries and even death.

This blog post reviews the common types of dialysis malpractice and when victims or their loved ones may be able to take legal action.

If you are unsure if you have a valid case for malpractice during kidney dialysis, contact our Maryland medical malpractice lawyers today. We can determine if you may have a case and schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.

Millions recovered at no upfront cost to victims. Call today: 410-297-0271.

Why Some Patients Need Kidney Dialysis

Kidney dialysis is a medical procedure that does things the patient’s kidneys are no longer capable of doing. For example, if your kidneys can no longer filter enough waste products from your blood, you may have kidney failure and need dialysis to ensure your vital organs continue to function. If waste materials build up in your blood, your organs can suffer critical damage.

Dialysis is common for patients with certain medical conditions that are hard on the kidneys, including:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Acute kidney injuries

Dialysis is a process where a machine filters waste from your blood. Peritoneal dialysis involves a cleaning solution being pumped into the abdomen, before being disposed of hours later. Hemodialysis is when patients are connected to a machine that filters their blood through a machine. This is often done several times per week, for several hours at a time.

What Are the Side Effects of Kidney Dialysis?

While dialysis can be lifesaving, there is a risk of complications. Sometimes these complications are normal and can be easily managed. At other times, however, they may be the result of malpractice.

Common side effects of kidney dialysis may include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle cramps
  • Itchy skin
  • Fatigue
  • Gaining weight
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Feeling bloated
  • Depression or anxiety

What Are Some Examples of Medical Malpractice During Kidney Dialysis?

While things can go wrong during any medical procedure, these errors or oversights may not amount to medical malpractice. Your lawyer must establish that the doctor did not perform up to the standard of care, and this failure must have directly led to an injury.

These are some examples of actions or oversights by medical professionals during kidney dialysis that may be considered medical malpractice:

Using Contaminated Dialysate Fluid

This can result in serious, life-threatening infections. Unlike some other infections, those that occur during dialysis can go right into the bloodstream, allowing them to spread throughout the body. This raises the risk of sepsis, which is fatal.

Healthcare providers need to follow strict infection control protocols to protect patients. They need to clear machines and lines of cleaning solutions. They also need to properly clean and filter the water system at the dialysis clinic.

Failing To Properly Insert the Catheter

Failing to insert the catheter properly can result in blood clots, excessive bleeding and infections. Patients who need dialysis are already in a serious situation and blood clots, bleeding or infections could make things much worse.

Failing To Properly Set Up the Dialysis Machine

Dialysis is a procedure that requires extreme attention to detail. Errors or oversights could have serious consequences.

If doctors, nurses or staff at the dialysis facility do not properly calibrate the dialysis machine, too much blood or fluid could be removed or left inside the body. This could result in fluid overload, low blood pressure or other serious complications.

Failing To Monitor Patients

Doctors and other staff should closely and continuously monitor dialysis patients for any adverse reactions. If doctors and staff can detect problems quickly, they may have a better chance of preventing complications from getting worse. For example, they can avoid heart arrythmias or air embolisms.

Another aspect of monitoring patients is preventing them from falling. As patients may experience a drop in blood pressure, they could become dizzy while standing or walking. Any kind of dizziness could cause imbalance and increase the risk of falling.

Failing To Recognize Complications

It is one thing to monitor dialysis patients and another to spot potential complications. Keeping an eye on a patient does no good if the doctor or other medical professional does not recognize when things are going wrong.

Recognizing complications does not stop after the patient leaves the dialysis facility. Doctors need to continue to monitor a patient to watch for signs of clotting, imbalances in electrolytes or infections.

Making Medication Errors

Many dialysis patients need to take prescription medication to manage their kidney issues and complications that may result, including complications from dialysis treatment. If doctors prescribe the incorrect dosage or have medications administered in the wrong way, there is a higher risk of adverse reactions.

Failing To Properly Prepare for the Procedure

Doctors must adjust treatment based on the patient’s unique health issues. For example, they need to avoid dangerous interactions between dialysis medications and other medications the patient is taking.

When doctors do not account for patients’ medical history, there may be a greater risk of complications.

How Do I Know if I May Have a Valid Case?

Medical malpractice cases are incredibly complex, which is why it is best to discuss your situation with an experienced lawyer.

However, you may be wondering when it may be appropriate to have this conversation. The answer is complicated, but if your loved one suffered serious injuries during dialysis, there might be a case. You should also consider reaching out to a lawyer if it seems like what happened was preventable, such as if staff were not monitoring your loved one.

At The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl, the initial consultation is free and there is no obligation to hire our firm.

Contact The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl To Discuss a Malpractice Claim

The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl is committed to advocating for patients injured by medical malpractice. We have been holding healthcare professionals accountable for malpractice for many years and have recovered millions for victims.

If you suspect that you or a loved one has been a victim of dialysis malpractice, we encourage you to reach out to us to discuss your legal rights. Together, we can assess your situation and explain potential next steps, all at no upfront cost.

Experienced Lawyers. Proven Results. Free Consultation. Call us at 410-297-0271.