The dialysis manufacturer Fresenius has become well-known not because of their advanced medical treatments nor because of their effective dialysis products. But rather because of a dangerous medical product they produced called GranuFlo.
Recently, however, Fresenius has been in the news for a different reason. According to Investors Business Daily, Fresenius has expanded their treatment options to offer overnight dialysis.
While our Boston injury attorneys are glad that dialysis patients are now being offered a solution that allows them to keep their days free for family and work, we are concerned about the history that Fresenius has in disregarding the well-being of patients who use these products and medical devices. We hope that night clinics will be properly staffed with fully qualified medical professionals and that the dialysis treatment provided at these clinics will be safe and effective so patients are not put at risk.
Fresenius Offers Overnight Dialysis Option
Fresenius has a vast number of dialysis clinics across the United States and is a leading name in the dialysis industry. According to Investors Business Daily, they have now pioneered a new program of night time dialysis. More than 140 different night time dialysis programs have been established throughout the U.S., including in Weymouth Massachusetts.
Night time dialysis allows for patients to undergo the process of having their blood filtered for waste products while they rest or sleep. This is an alternative to the standard daytime dialysis practices. Traditionally, patients on daytime dialysis will receive treatments three days per week and each treatment will last three to four hours, which can take up a major amount of time for the person who needs the life-sustaining treatment. With nighttime dialysis, however, patients will still go for treatment three times per week but they can undergo the treatment when they are resting or sleeping overnight, leaving their days free.
The process of nighttime dialysis is a little slower, with the dialysis treatment extending over eight hours. This slower process may be a gentler and healthier treatment, allowing patients to have better blood pressure control and better control of mineral levels.
Is Nighttime Dialysis Safe?
In theory, nighttime dialysis should be safe. In fact, because of the slower and gentler treatment, it might even be safer than daytime dialysis. However, in order for nighttime dialysis to actually be safe in practice, it is essential that the individuals undergoing nighttime treatment receive a high level of care. Providers of dialysis treatment at clinics must monitor and observe patients carefully, especially if those patients are sleeping, for signs of a potential problem.
Fresenius, unfortunately, does not have a very good track record of caring for their patients or protecting them. Their dangerous GranuFlo product resulted in many patients experiencing a bicarbonate overdose, greatly increasing their risk of cardiac arrest. This occurred because of doctor confusion about concentration of the product. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Fresenius knew of the danger and they alerted their own clinics in November of 2011 while at the same time failing to take action to warn the general public. Eventually, the dangers of GranuFlo became widely known, but in the meantime, Fresenius was putting more people in danger as doctors continued to dose them with the risky medicine.
Patients should be aware of the dangerous history of Fresenius and should take this into account when considering whether to undergo overnight dialysis treatments at one of their facilities. Whether overnight staff at these facilities have the knowledge and resources to keep patients safe remains to be seen.
If you or a loved one has experienced dialysis complications in the Greater Boston area, contact the Boston dialysis malpractice attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC for a free consultation to discuss your claim. Call 1-877-617-5333.