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Dialysis is a Side Effect of Oral Sodium Phosphates (OSPs) and Dialysis Patients Are Most at Risk for Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF)

Use of prescription oral sodium phosphate (OSP) products such as Visicol and OsmoPrep can cause kidney failure, requiring dialysis. Further, dialysis patients are those most at risk of developing Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF) when injected with gadolinium-based contrast agents for an MRI or other medical scan.

Dialysis is Needed When a Person’s Kidneys Stop Working

Dialysis is required when a person’s kidneys cease functioning. The kidneys are bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist, located near the middle of the back, just below the rib cage. The kidneys filter waste products and excess water from the blood. The waste products and water become urine, flowing from the kidneys to the bladder through tubes called ureters. Dialysis is the procedure used to remove waste products from the blood when a person’s kidneys stop working.

Types of Dialysis

There are two primary types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis is the most frequently prescribed dialysis treatment. A patient’s blood is circulated outside of the body using a hemodialysis machine. Most patients require treatment three times each week, for three-to-four hours per treatment. With peritoneal dialysis, a catheter is surgically inserted in the patient’s abdomen. The catheter is used to fill the abdominal cavity with dialysate. Waste products move into the dialysate solution from the patient’s bloodstream. After 6 to 24 hours, the waste-filled dialysate is drained from the abdomen and replaced with clean dialysate.

What Can Cause Kidney Failure so that Dialysis is Required?

The two most common causes of kidney disease that ultimately required dialysis are diabetes and high blood pressure. With diabetes, glucose in the blood does not break down. When blood passes through the kidneys with elevated glucose levels, it acts as a poison, damaging the nephrons. High blood pressure can also damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys. Because those diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure may also have impaired kidney function as a result, they are also potentially at risk of developing Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF) from gadolinium-based contrast agents.

Oral sodium phosphates (OSPs) also can cause kidney failure. Visicol and OsmoPrep are two popular prescription OSPs commonly used to clean the bowels before a colonoscopy. OSPs work by drawing large amounts of water into the colon. This can lead to acute phosphate nephropathy, causing kidney failure and ultimately requiring dialysis.

Legal Rights and Remedies for Dialysis Patients

If you became a dialysis patient soon after using Visicol or OsmoPrep, you may have a legal claim. Likewise, if you were already a dialysis patient and then developed Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF) after injection of a gadolinium-based contrast agent, you also may have a legal claim against the contrast agent’s manufacturer. Contact DeCarli Law for a free consultation regarding your legal rights. If appropriate, the OSP attorneys/MRI lawyers at DeCarli Law can help you bring a lawsuit for your injury.

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Debra DeCarli and Bob DeCarli are licensed by the State Bar of Texas and the State Bar of California.

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