Dialysis Case Studies

25 year old female with juvenile onset of diabetes who is suffering from End Stage Renal Disease put on dialysis.  As with most dialysis patients, this young lady became anemic after several dialysis treatments.  Her hematocrit and hemoglobin were noted to be extremely low (her hemaglobin was 6 and her hematocrit was 19).  Notwithstanding these critical values, her treating nephrologist did not order a blood transfusion before or during her next dialysis treatment.  The dialysis center also did not call the doctor before beginning dialysis. 

During the dialysis treatment, the patient went into cardiac arrest.  Although she was resuscitated, she never recovered and died a week later.

Outcome:  The dialysis center settled the case early.  The doctor however, went to trial and lost.  The judge found that he committed medical malpractice in failing to address the patient's low H&H levels before dialysis which led to her premature death.