Dialysis Accident Malpractice Lawyer in Virginia

For patients who are dealing with advanced kidney failure, dialysis is the most commonly pursued treatment option. Dialysis is used to help the body perform the duties of the kidneys that they can no longer do on their own. Unfortunately, though, mistakes during dialysis made by medical professionals can happen, leading to dangerous or deadly consequences.

Rampant problems associated with poor quality care plague the U.S. kidney dialysis system. Medical malpractice is a real daily occurrence in many dialysis centers across the U.S and right here in Virginia. Patients and families who have experienced a serious injury or death related to a dialysis accident should know that one way to seek accountability is with a malpractice investigation and lawsuit.

An investigative reporting bureau called ProPublica recently published a study on the quality of care the nation’s 400,000 dialysis patients get, and it’s pretty disturbing. The basic conclusion was:

“Taxpayers spend more than $20 billion a year to care for those on dialysis — about $77,000 per patient, more, by some accounts, than any other nation. Yet the United States continues to have one of the industrialized world’s highest mortality rates for dialysis complications. …

“At clinics from coast to coast, patients commonly receive treatment in settings that are unsanitary and prone to perilous lapses in care. Regulators have few tools and little will to enforce quality standards. Industry consolidation has left patients with fewer choices of provider. The government has withheld critical data about clinics’ performance from patients, the very people who need it most. Meanwhile, the two corporate chains that dominate the dialysis-care system are consistently profitable, together making about $2 billion in operating profits a year.”

The ProPublica reporters go on to mention that: “One reason the system’s problems have evolved out of the health care spotlight is that kidney failure disproportionately afflicts minorities and the dispossessed.”

At the Root of Kidney Dialysis Malpractice:

Generally, patients are treated at for-profit dialysis centers here in Hampton Roads, Richmond or the Virginia Beach-Norfolk area (you’ve probably heard of DaVita, Fresenius or some of the other popular ones). For-profit centers generally offer patients treatment for a shorter period of time compared to those attending the non-profit centers. In addition, the for-profit centers typically have smaller staffs that may not be as well-trained as their counterparts who work in a non-profit facility.

One of the major problems in the dialysis procedure, whether performed at a for-profit or a non-profit center, is the pressure to see as many patients as quickly as possible and thereby maximize profit. There is an increased danger is making mistakes or serious judgment errors when the staff acquires an “assembly line” mentality in dealing with patients coming in for dialysis.  Cutting corners rapidly becomes a li-and-death issue.

Common examples of potential malpractice in the dialysis industry include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Use of short cuts that have not been approved and that are not in compliance with the required standard of care
  • Failure to check the dialysis machine, settings, and alarms before initiating a patient’s treatment
  • Failure to monitor and assist an unstable patient, which results in a fall
  • Medication errors, such as omission, wrong dosage, wrong patient
  • Failure to follow a physician’s orders or the following of orders that the healthcare professional should have known were erroneous
  • Failure to properly inspect, maintain, repair, or use equipment
  • Failure to monitor a patient’s condition during treatment and to respond to any problems in a timely and appropriate manner
  • Improper care, inspection or use of a bed or patient transport device
  • Improper reuse of a dialysis device
  • Sterilization errors leading to infection such as peritonitis
  • Needle errors resulting in excessive blood loss and hemorrhaging, dislodged needle, etc.
  • Medical equipment malfunction and misuse

Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim for Damages in Virginia

If you believe you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice during dialysis treatment, you can file a lawsuit for damages within two years of the time the malpractice occurred. The sooner that you take legal action, the better.

A medical malpractice claim can result in the compensation amount necessary to pay all of your medical bills that the injury sustained requires, and more. Dialysis is an extremely serious form of medical treatment; you deserve to have your dialysis treatment administered in a manner that is free from error. If your medical care provider failed in this regard then you deserve to be compensated.

The Law Offices of Ed R. Atkinson in Norfolk, VA practice in Kidney Dialysis Malpractice, Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death lawsuits. Put our legal experience and insight to work for you. We only earn attorney fees if we get results!

Consult with an Experienced Malpractice Attorney

Contact me today for a free consultation about your dialysis malpractice claim. Call (757) 648-8579 or fill out the quick-contact form on this page.