Being diagnosed with kidney disease can be a devastating experience. Treatment for this condition can be intensive and expensive, putting financial, physical, and emotional strain on patients.
In these situations, some people opt for conservative management over treatments like dialysis or a kidney transplant. Also known as comfort care or supportive care, conservative management focuses on alleviating symptoms and supporting patients’ quality of life.
What Is Conservative Management for Kidney Failure?
Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys are unable to filter waste products from the blood. When the kidneys stop functioning, patients often undergo dialysis, a treatment where the blood is filtered using a machine or a solution inserted into the belly. They may also apply for an organ transplant and receive a new functioning kidney.
Patients may also opt for conservative management over dialysis or a transplant. Instead of focusing on curing the disease, the patient’s medical team continues his or her care with the goal to provide the best quality of life possible.
There are many components to a conservative management care plan, such as the following.
- Managing symptoms like nausea and poor appetite
- Providing psychological and emotional support
- Providing end-of-life care, also known as palliative care
- Managing health problems caused by the kidney failure
- Preserving kidney function for as long as possible without dialysis or transplant
Why Do Patients Opt for Conservative Management
Patients have the right to choose how they want their medical team to handle their kidney failure. By opting for conservative management, a patient can avoid many of the disadvantages associated with other treatments.
Living with kidney disease can be very difficult, especially in its later stages. Dialysis can require hospital stays, invasive surgeries, frequent blood draws, and multiple medical appointments per week. Treatments and medications can lead to unpleasant side effects and worsen a patient’s quality of life.
Additionally, applying for a kidney transplant can be a lengthy and complex process. The patient must qualify for the surgery and find the right organ donor. The surgery can be intense and require lengthy hospitalization and aftercare.
If you are diagnosed with kidney failure, your care plan may change as your condition progresses. For example, you can choose to stop dialysis and transition to conservative management if you wish. Always speak with your medical care team about any decisions pertaining to your treatment.
How Long Do Patients Live with Conservative Management?
Kidney disease varies from person to person. As a result, the life expectancy for conservative management will depend on the severity of the patient’s condition.
For example, say that a patient has severe kidney failure and requires dialysis to survive. If the patient chooses conservative management, he or she may live for a few days to a few weeks after the transition. His or her treatment plan will focus on palliative or hospice care.
How Should Patients Prepare for Conservative Management?
If you are considering conservative management, it is important to speak with your doctor as soon as possible. Your physician will explain your treatment options in detail and help you understand what to expect under this care plan.
You will need to create an advance directive if you plan to undergo conservative management. This document outlines the treatments that you do and do not want to receive as you reach the end of your life. It is also important to discuss the advance directive with your family.
Your doctor will also talk to you about palliative or hospice care, which can help improve your quality of life. The goal of hospice is to provide you with as much comfort and care as possible until you pass away. In hospice, medical professionals will help you manage symptoms and offer the support that you and your family need during this time.
Does Medicare Cover Conservative Management?
As a patient with end-stage renal disease, you qualify for Medicare, a federal health care program in the United States. People typically apply for this coverage when they turn 65 years old, but people with kidney disease requiring dialysis also qualify at any age.
Medicare does provide coverage for hospice care as well as home health care and other treatments associated with conservative management. However, this coverage may end after a certain number of days or require that you meet certain criteria. Check the details of your policy to see if you qualify for coverage.
If you do not have Medicare, you may be able to use your private health insurance to pay for the costs associated with your kidney disease. However, there may be some limitations to how much compensation your insurance will provide. For comprehensive care, it is recommended that patients with kidney failure apply for Medicare or explore other paths to compensation.
Filing a Lawsuit for Kidney Disease
Several factors can lead to kidney disease, from lifestyle choices to family history. However, some people develop this condition after taking medication that they thought was safe. Many dangerous and defective drugs have been linked to kidney failure, such as Truvada, a pre-exposure prophylaxis medication.
If you or a loved one are diagnosed with kidney disease after taking a defective medication, then you may be eligible for financial compensation. You and your family could file a lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturer and recover a settlement to pay for the costs associated with conservative management as well as pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.
To prove your lawsuit, you will need to prove the following facts.
- You or your loved one were diagnosed with kidney disease.
- The medication is defective.
- The medication caused your kidney disease.
Speak to an Attorney About Your Kidney Disease Claim
If you are unsure whether you or a loved one qualify for a defective drug lawsuit, it is important to speak with a lawyer. An attorney with experience handling defective medication claims can evaluate your case and identify whether you or your loved one are eligible for litigation.
Additionally, your litigation lawyer can represent your claim and build a compelling case for your or your loved one’s right to compensation. As soon as possible following the kidney disease diagnosis, contact a defective drug lawsuit attorney to discuss your next steps.