RICKY WILSON / Stuff
Ashritha Bagadam went on an incorrect dialysis schedule for six months which made her even sicker.
An Auckland woman unknowingly taken off the kidney transplant list also went on the incorrect dialysis schedule for six months, which made her sicker and caused fluid to build up around her heart.
In April this year, Ashritha Bagadam was in desperate need of a transplant – her kidneys were failing. She had patiently waited for a matched donor, but unbeknownst to her Middlemore Hospital had removed her name from the transplant list in December 2021 – a fact she would not discover until four months later.
Bagadam was put back on the list in June. But by then, the 25-year-old was no longer in despair and her health had deteriorated significantly.
“I went to bed unable to breathe, I was afraid that I would not wake up in the morning,” she says.
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Bagadam said she felt constantly sick, often vomiting – at the time she thought it was part of the dialysis process. It wasn’t, she would find out soon enough.
She went to her GP – he told her she had a pericardial effusion, an accumulation of fluid in the space around the heart, and took her to the emergency room.
She was hospitalized for over a week.
While there, she says doctors told her she had been on the wrong dialysis schedule for six months.
Scans showed that her heart had increased in size due to fluid buildup and she now had to take medication, she said.
“If they had seen me once in those six months, they would have known I was on the wrong program.”
Clinical notes seen by Things said she had been ‘underdialyzed’ and due to the Covid-19 lockdown no ‘matching’ had been done so far.
Bagadam remained “traumatized” by the discovery.
“The night they told me something was wrong with my heart was probably the darkest night I’ve been through.
“I’m already taking care of my kidneys, I can’t have anything wrong with my heart.”
She no longer had time to wait for a donor – doctors told her she needed a kidney urgently, she said.
Fortunately, his brother offered to donate his kidney to him. The operation is scheduled for December.
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Bagadam was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in 2017 and had been on the transplant list and on dialysis since August 2021.
She has since filed a complaint with the Health and Disability Commissioner.
This is the third complaint she has made about her treatment at Middlemore Hospital in two years.
Bagadam signed a confidentiality waiver to allow the Manukau Counties Health District to discuss his case with Things.
When approached for comment, Counties Manukau said he would not release patient information.
However, a The spokesperson said that while they acknowledged Bagadam’s concerns, they disagreed with the characterization of care described.
“We are confident that we have provided Ms Bagadam with top-level treatment.
“Our priority is always to provide the highest level of care to our patients and to always welcome patient feedback.”