Having the right level of potassium in your body is essential. Potassium works to help nerves, muscles, and the heart to function properly. The kidneys are responsible for ensuring that the right potassium level remains in the body at all times by balancing potassium intake with the excretion of the electrolyte. When the intake is higher than the kidneys’ ability to excrete it, or if there is a problem with kidney function, too much potassium (hyperkalemia) can happen.
High potassium levels in your blood can be dangerous, even life-threatening. Because potassium affects how the heart muscles work, your heartbeat may become irregular when it is too much. If that happens, it can lead to cardiac arrest. Some of the signs of heart attack are:
The severity of heart attacks can vary, though all heart attacks are cause for concern. In some cases, a heart attack leads to death.
Various types of kidney disease may cause hyperkalemia. If kidney disease isn’t identified early and treated properly, it can lead to renal failure, seizures, coma, and death.
While hyperkalemia is certainly a potentially dangerous condition, it can be reversed successfully. Most people diagnosed with hyperkalemia have a favorable prognosis if identified early and treated promptly.
Mild hyperkalemia doesn’t usually result in any long-term complications. In those cases, a change in diet and regular monitoring are often sufficient to manage potassium levels. Monitoring usually consists of frequent blood tests to check your potassium levels. Typically, acute cases of hyperkalemia only last a few days and only require short-term medical treatment.
In more serious cases of hyperkalemia, you may need emergency medical attention, medication, or dialysis treatments to control potassium levels, and the condition may happen again. Chronic hyperkalemia has to be managed and monitored long-term to keep potassium levels in check.
You are entitled to an accepted standard of care when you see a doctor for symptoms you’re having, whether in a hospital or office setting. That means that medical professionals must treat you with the same level of care that another reasonable doctor, nurse, or medical professional would in the same situation. Failing to do so may constitute a valid medical malpractice lawsuit. This can happen in numerous ways, including:
Doctors are not expected to be perfect or to prevent all bad medical outcomes. However, suppose you have been injured due to inadequate or incorrect medical care. In that case, you may have grounds to sue the doctor or other medical professional in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If you or your loved one suffered hyperkalemia due to medical negligence or malpractice, you should discuss your case with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. These cases can be complex, requiring the expertise of doctors to determine how the negligence occurred.
At Ross Feller Casey, our medical malpractice attorneys and on-staff doctors have helped families like yours with these types of cases. Our track record of winning large verdicts for our clients is nationally recognized and well-regarded. We help medical malpractice victims get the compensation they deserve for their damages.
As with any medical condition, treatments for hyperkalemia and its complications can be very expensive. We aim to help ease your financial burden and improve your family’s life by recovering compensation to pay medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Contact Ross Feller Casey in Philadelphia today to arrange a free consultation to discuss how to proceed with your case. You will not be charged any fees until we win or settle your case.
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