Kidneys are the organs which filter blood to extract the waste products. The waste products are then removed from the body in the form of urine.
Every day two kidneys will filter around 12o to 150 quarts of blood and produce 1 to 2 quarts of urine.
Here are some of the more common forms of Kidney complaints:
Kidney stones are a by-product of blood. They are made up of the waste materials and form crystals. In turn the crystals collect together and harden into a lump. Small stones are usually passed out painlessly in urine but larger stones may block the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder (ureter). They can also cause a blockage in the tube (urethra) which urine passes when you go to the toilet.
The usual course of action to remove small stones would be medication but as they get larger ultrasound, laser and even surgery is required to remove them.
Kidney stones are categorised into four main types:
This is the most common form of kidney stone and they occur when there is too much calcium in the urine.
More commonly occurring in women, these stones are often the result of a urinary tract infection (UTI).
If there is a large amount of acid present in the urine, acid stones may form.
Like Uric Acid stones they affect the amount of acid in urine but they are the rarest form of kidney stone and they are caused by a condition called cystinuria – an inherited condition.
Kidney Stone negligence
When you have treatment for kidney stones, you could experience complications such as a urinary tract infection, bleeding during surgery, a blocked ureter or even sepsis. The negligent aspect surrounds diagnosis and therefore treatment.
If kidney stones are not diagnosed and treat early enough, the patient can experience further injury which could have been avoided.
Kidney disease and renal failure
In the early stages of kidney disease there may be no symptoms and often it is picked up by routine blood or urine tests. The symptoms of kidney disease include swollen ankles, feet or hands, tiredness, feeling sick, shortness of breath and blood in urine. Kidney disease is commonly known as CKD or Chronic Kidney Disease.
The most common causes of CKD include high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, infections, inflammation (glomerulonephritis) blockages and polycystic kidney disease.
Testing for CKD
Tests for CKD include blood tests, urine tests, ultrasound scans, MRI scans and CT Scans as well as a kidney biopsy. These tests show the stages of damage from stage 1 to stage 5.
Blood tests show the levels of eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate) whereas urine tests show the levels of ACR (Albumin Creatinine ratio)
|Stage 1||90ml/min||A1||Less than 3mg/mmol|
|Stage 3a||45-59ml/min||A3||More than30mg/mmol|
Below 15ml/min (Kidneys have lost all function)
Kidney disease negligence
If the causes of kidney disease listed above are present or have been present for a long time but left untreated causing your condition to worsen, you may have grounds to make a clinical negligence claim.
The medical term for the removal of either a full or partial kidney is a nephrectomy. You may need part of or a full kidney removing if it is damaged, if it isn’t functioning correctly if you have cancer of the kidney or if you are donating one.
Complications arising from Kidney removal include blood loss, stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism or infection. These complications are rare.
In addition, other complications include injuries to other organs and hernias where organs push their way out of the surgical site.
Experiencing any of these complications may indicate that negligence has occurred.
The ureter is a thin tube which connects the kidney to the bladder. This tube may become blocked because of a kidney stone. If a blockage occurs, your consultant may opt for surgery to insert a stent.
A stent is basically a plastic tube which is inserted through the skin into the kidney and down the ureter. Medically this is called an antegrade ureteric stent. A retrograde ureteric stent is where the tube is inserted via the bladder and up the ureter into the kidney.
Stenting allows urine to flow correctly into the bladder. It is required to avoid kidney damage from an infection caused by the blockage.
Complications from stenting include a small urine leak from the kidney causing a collection in the abdomen, bleeding and problems in placing the stent correctly. If a urine leak becomes severe, you may need to have further surgery to rectify the problem.