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Understanding Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis and the Law

April 24, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 156

Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis, also known as NFS, is a disorder that is progressive in nature. NFS usually presents in patients who have some type of impaired kidney function or other kidney problems of a chronic type. The condition is commonly associated with scarring of the connective tissues and skin in various parts of the body, which is referred to as fibrosis. As the skin thickens, it becomes hard, coarse, and rigid, which causes the movement of the joints to be very restricted. Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis can also cause the fibrosis to become widespread in the body and spread to organs, which can be fatal in some cases.

While this condition is quite disturbing on its own, the link to its origin is perhaps even more disturbing. NSF has been directly linked to the use of gadolinium contrast injections which are routinely administered during an MRA and MRI. This contrast dye helps the physician to clearly differentiate between tissues and blood vessels.

Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis, NSF, as previously stated is a progressive condition that is also chronic. In years past, the condition was referred to as Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy, or NFD. This chronic illness was first noted in 1997, and today there are in excess of four hundred reports of Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis reported across the globe. While this may sound alarming, it is thought there are actually many more cases of NSF, and the numbers will rise a great deal now that it is better understood, and physicians are more aware of the symptoms to look out for.

NSF causes the levels of collagen to increase in the tissues of the body, causing the skin to become thick and hard, and is often characterized as shiny and/or woody. The joints become very affected by the disease, and mobility becomes quite limited in range. This also causes a great deal of pain and discomfort. Many individuals who have been diagnosed with Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis end up needing a wheel chair to get around within just a few weeks of the onset of the disease. Other internal organs such as the heart, lungs, esophagus, the skeletal muscles, diaphragm, and various other bodily tissues can also be affected.

Nearly one hundred percent of the patients who have been diagnosed with Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis have received gadolinium based contrast injections while undergoing magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests within two days to eighteen months prior to the onset of symptoms. It is not completely understood why this disorder occurs, and because of this issue, a great deal of research is currently being conducted on NSF. This is being done in an effort to learn more about gadolinium contrast injections and why they cause the disease to occur. As of this time, there are no treatments for Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis that are considered to be effective. There are some therapies that have been somewhat helpful for some patients, but these are not consistent in their results.

What is known for sure is that researchers have confirmed the correlation between the gadolinium contrast injections used during MRAs and MRIs to the development of Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis in 2006. It is also known that of the current reported cases that are available to date, roughly five percent of individuals with kidney problems or kidney failure experienced the systemic issues following being treated with a gadolinium compound.

As devastating as this issue can be for those who have been affected, what is more alarming is that the manufacturer of the gadolinium contrast injections should have and could have avoided these issues by conducting more adequate testing, issuing better warnings, or being more vigilant during development. It is not known for sure how much the manufacturer knew prior to these cases coming to light or what could have been done to protect the health and well being of consumers.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis after undergoing an MRA or MRI that used gadolinium contrast injections, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries. It is recommended that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after being diagnosed in order to protect your legal rights and file a claim in a court of law.

Personal injury attorneys who specialize in product liability and or medical negligence can be a tremendous asset when pursuing this type of claim. These legal professionals are quite skilled in this area of the law and will work hard to get you the justice you so rightly deserve. Your attorney will gather all evidence, compile medical records, take statements from medical professionals, arrange for expert testimony if necessary and hold every liable party accountable for their actions.

Since most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, you do not have to worry about paying any money upfront to start your claim. You will pay nothing throughout the process until the time your claim has settled. This takes a great deal of anxiety out of the process and allows you to focus solely on your personal recovery and well being.

Because these types of cases can be very complex in nature, you should not attempt to file on your own with legal guidance. Each state has laws that vary in regard to liability and negligence claims, as well as strict statutes of limitations that must be abided by. Not following even one guideline can cause your claim to be thrown out and your chances of recovering damages to be nonexistent.

Taking action to hold the manufactures of gadolinium contrasts responsible for failing to provide proper warnings and conduct adequate research can result in the recovery of monetary compensation to help you pay for past, present, and future medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and in many cases even punitive damages. By forcing manufacturers to uphold their required duty of care you are not only protecting yourself, and your family, you are working to prevent the same types of injuries from occurring in the future.

For information on medical malpractice lawyers, visit the website

Source: EzineArticles
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