Nursing Home Neglect Can Lead to Kidney Failure
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento nursing home abuse lawyer. Nursing home abuse and neglect is reported at an alarming rate in the United States. Neglect is described as the failure of a caregiver to adequately meet all of the nursing home resident’s needs. This kind of neglect can lead to a multitude of medical problems, one of which is kidney failure.
What is Kidney Failure?
The kidneys are responsible for filtering toxins out of the bloodstream which are then eliminated from the body in the urine. In addition, the kidneys are responsible for ensuring that the body’s electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate are at appropriate levels. This means that the kidneys are also responsible for ensuring the patient is properly hydrated. When the kidneys fail, blood work will show an elevation in blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine. Kidney failure means that the body’s electrolytes will not remain stable and that toxins will build up in the bloodstream. This can cause serious symptoms that could become the cause of a wrongful death.
How Does Nursing Home Neglect Lead to Kidney Failure?
Most families place their loved ones in a nursing home when they can no longer care for themselves or be cared for by a family member. This is usually because their loved one has chronic medical problems that the family cannot handle themselves. Here are some of the common acute and chronic medical conditions in the elderly and how neglecting those conditions can lead to kidney failure.
Diabetes: Diabetes is common across all age ranges in society. When nursing homes fail to properly manage a patient’s diabetes, the patient’s glucose builds up in the bloodstream. If the kidneys cannot filter this glucose out of the bloodstream quickly enough, the kidneys will become burnt out and start to fail. Some nursing homes exacerbate diabetes with trauma or simply fail to manage it properly.
Failure to Manage Cancer: Many patients wind up in nursing homes because their loved ones cannot handle the medical regimen regarding their cancer. When nursing homes fail to properly manage the regimen that the physician prescribes for their cancer, the tumor can grow out of control and send the patient into kidney failure.
Medication Errors: These can absolutely send a patient into kidney failure. The kidneys need to filter medications out of the bloodstream. Overmedicating a patient, prescribing too many medications, or prescribing medication with inappropriate interactions can lead to kidney failure. This is common in nursing homes.
Dehydration: Some nursing homes are simply slow to give patients water when they need it. Other times, nursing homes limit the amount of patient access to water because they’re scared of overhead costs. Dehydration can send patients into kidney failure because the kidneys need this water to properly balance their electrolytes.
Related Articles by Ed Smith:
- How to Spot Nursing Home Abuse
- Nursing Home Resident Rights
- Decubitus Ulcers (Bed Sores)
- New Law Protects Nursing Home Residents
Sacramento Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento nursing home abuse lawyer. If your loved one has suffered neglect or abuse due to poor nursing home care, please call me anytime at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice. If you are calling from outside of the Sacramento area, please use my toll free number at (800) 404-5400.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The forum consists of top-rated trial lawyers in the US with verdicts and settlements in excess of 1 Million Dollars.
Please view my past verdicts and settlements here.
Photograph Attribution: Stephen Craven, Wikimedia commons