New Jersey patients who were told that they have an acute kidney injury may be interested to learn that the way in which these conditions are diagnosed may be misleading. Approximately 5 to 7 percent of patients who are admitted to U.S. hospitals are ultimately diagnosed with this condition.
Acute kidney injuries are often diagnosed through a blood test, which looks at a patient's serum creatinine levels, a waste product that the kidneys remove from the body. However, initial creatinine levels can be misleading as it can take time for them to adjust following an injury. Additionally, they only offer a snapshot of how the kidney is functioning at the time the blood test is taken. In some cases, the blood tests could even give a false positive for the condition even if the kidney was not damaged in any way.
An accurate diagnosis for acute kidney injury is incredibly important. If doctors attempt to rehydrate patients,, they could suffer a pulmonary edema where fluid builds up in the lungs. If doctors do not treat for dehydration, the kidneys could potentially suffer irreversible damage. Ongoing studies suggest that using biomarkers to determine if a patient has suffered kidney damage may be a more accurate way to treat the condition.
If a doctor error results in a misdiagnosis, a patient could potentially suffer serious injuries. Not only can this lead to a worsened condition, but it can also result in more expensive medical bills and a loss of income if the person cannot work. A medical malpractice attorney may gather evidence that provides proof that the doctor was negligent and that this negligence resulted in the injury.