TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Fred H. Madden and Wayne R. Bryant that would require clinical laboratories to aid in early kidney disease detection by monitoring creatinine levels in patients blood was approved today by the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee.
“According to the United States Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse, U.S. doctors performed 15,331 kidney transplants in the year 2001 alone,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. “The patients who were able to receive the transplants were very fortunate; however, not all kidney disease sufferers are able to receive the life-saving surgery. This measure would help make the public aware of the risks and prevalence of kidney disease, and allow them to work with their physicians to detect any kidney abnormalities in their early stages.”
The Senators’ measure, S-2232, would require all clinical laboratories within the State to calculate glomerular levels when testing for the presence of kidney disease in patients who have been referred by their primary health care provider. Laboratories would be required to submit reports highlighting patient glomerular filtration information to the patient’s prescribing physician.
Glomerular filtration measures how well a person’s kidneys filter waste from the blood. Doctors use the rate numbers to determine how well a patient’s kidneys function. Creatinine is a waste product found in the body as a result of the normal breakdown of muscle cells. Excessively high creatinine levels can indicate the presence of kidney damage or failure.
“According to a report by the National Kidney Foundation, African-Americans account for 33% of all patients treated for kidney failure in the United States,” said Senator Bryant, D-Camden and Gloucester. “This measure would work in conjunction with the recently enacted law requiring physician cultural competency training to help close the statistical gaps, and help ensure that all New Jerseyans receive the preventative care they deserve.”
This measure was approved by the full Senate on March 14. It now awaits final legislative approval by the full Assembly.