TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden that would require clinical laboratories to monitor creatinine levels in patients’ blood and help detect kidney disease in its early stages was approved today by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.
“Preventative measures and early detection have been shown to greatly increase the chances of survival for kidney disease sufferers,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. “Nationally, 50,000 people are awaiting kidney transplants. By requiring clinical labs to monitor creatinine levels, physicians will be able to more accurately diagnose the symptoms of kidney failure and help reduce the dependency on dialysis and kidney transplant surgery.”
Senator Madden’s measure, S-2232, would require clinical laboratories to calculate glomerular levels when working to determine the presence of kidney disease in patients who have been referred by a primary health care provider. The laboratory would be directed to include patient glomerular filtration information on a report to be submitted to the patient’s prescribing physician.
Glomerular filtration measures how well a person’s kidneys filter wastes from the blood, and physicians use the rate numbers to determine how well a patient’s kidneys are functioning. Creatinine is a waste product formed in the body as a result of the normal breaking down of muscle cells. Excessive creatinine levels can indicate kidney damage or failure which can be fatal.
“This measure is about early detection,” said Senator Madden. “There are nearly 8,000 patients currently on dialysis in the Delaware Valley, according to a report by the National Kidney Foundation of the Delaware Valley. If laboratory tests are made more readily available to detect kidney damage State physicians will have more time to treat kidney damage before it becomes a deadly situation.”
This measure now heads to the full Senate for consideration.