Kidney issues causing Australians harm

Published 23 Sep 2015

As one of the body's most vital organs, the kidneys are a massive part of a person's general health. According to WebMD, these organs filter the blood several times a day, removing wastes and regulating electrolyte balances. 

Medical authorities states our kidneys can lose around 90 per cent of its functions before we experience any issues, which highlights its resilience. However, according to a recently released report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), acute kidney injury hospitalisations are on the rise.

The AIHW's "Acute kidney injury in Australia: a first national snapshot" is the first of its sort on this particular ?total and permanent disability (TPD) and illustrates the growing trend of this health problem.

How widespread are acute kidney injuries?

Across the 2012-13 financial year, acute kidney injuries resulted in 131,780 hospitalisations - making up 1.6 per cent of admissions. In fact, between 2000-01 and 2012-13, the number of solely acute kidney injury cases had jumped from 8,050 to 18,010.

After experiencing such ailments, many patients are required to stay in hospitals for a considerable amount of time to receive treatment. Acute kidney injury can lead to end-stage kidney disease or long-term dialysis, preventing an individual from living at home or earning money at work. AIHW calculated the average stay to be around 11.4 days for patients suffering from this condition.

AIHW spokesperson Sushma Mathur noted that "acute kidney injury is an under-recognised condition in Australia".

"Further research and monitoring is crucial for guiding preventive measures, assisting with clinical care and informing health policy and planning," she said in a September 7 media statement.

Who is at risk of contracting this disease?

It is important to note that anyone can suffer from the disease, but several demographics are over-represented. This includes both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and older Australians.

"For example, hospitalisation and death rates were at least twice as high among Indigenous Australians as other Australians, and acute kidney injury hospitalisation rates in the 85 and over age group were at least 4 times as high as in the 65-74 age group," Ms Mathur said.

Critical illness claims

Kidney failure is one of the diseases listed under critical illness insurance policies. This means that it is possible to have a lump sum paid to you to cover medical bills and help you maintain a standard of living.

However, if your insurer underpays you, it is vital to reach out to the services of superannuation dispute lawyers who can guide you through the details of your potential case. For more information, contact our expert team today.

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