Friday, 14 February 2020

American Kidney Fund Helping People

There were a lot of people getting transplants in America in 2019. Over 24,000 in fact. And not everyone has insurance or funds to cover a transplant. But then there's the American Kidney Fund...

According to this article from Yahoo! the AKF gave grants to 1,400 people to receive kidney transplants and post-transplant care. More than 60% of the people receiving these grants were from racial and ethnic minority groups, who in general have fewer transplants than white Americans. Yet this group are more likely to need a transplant as more have kidney failure! So without these grants, many people would become financially broken and never receive a transplant.

AKF is also fully supporting the objective of finding living kidney donors.

You can find out more about the American Kidney Fund at their website.

Friday, 7 February 2020

Similar Survival Rates Found for Different Dialysis Modes

Is one form of dialysis better than another? Should you always opt for one particular type of dialysis?
This is something every patient wonders about when told they will have to have dialysis. The trouble is when you are first told you need dialysis, you probably have not considered the options until that very moment. And you wonder if you might make the wrong choice.

A recent bit of research looked at 17 other studies of the possible problem and by pooling all the results - 113,578 patients' results over a 21 year period - came to the conclusion that there is no significant difference in the mortality rate between peritoneal dialysis (PD) and in-centre hemodialysis (HD). This could affect the initial counselling of new patients in the run-up to getting dialysis. The research showed that life expectancy was virtually the same for both the therapies.

As PD is a more cost-effective option and helps preserve a normal lifestyle, they concluded that PD should be encouraged. Many people worry that "home treatment" via PD might be riskier than HD, but this appears not to be the case.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Do hemodialysis patients need a blood test every month?

Recent research suggests not necessarily.

 Routine monthly blood testing for prevalent patients on hemodialysis (HD) is not associated with a lower risk of death, hyperkalemia, cardiovascular (CV) events, or hospitalization compared with blood testing every 6 weeks, according to a new study.

Among incident patients on HD, monthly testing was associated with an increased risk of hyperkalemia, CV events, and hospitalization compared with testing every 6 weeks.

However, the optimum time interval between tests couldn't really be determined from the research, published  in the article by Thomas A, Silver SA, Perl J, et al. The frequency of routine blood sampling and patient outcomes among maintenance hemodialysis patients [published online November 12, 2019]. Am J Kidney Dis. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2019.08.016, available here 

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Are patients at for-profit dialysis centers getting less transplants

I have just read a somewhat worrying (and slightly predictable) article.

A report this month says that in the US, patients attending for-profit dialysis centers are less likely to get a transplant than those at nonprofit centers! This is based on a study examining nearly 1,500,000 dialysis patients over a 17 year period. So it's got a fair bit of data behind it. The link at the start of the paragraph is to the abstract (summary) of the research, but there is a bit more detail in the Reuters news report.

A transplant in the long run is cheaper than receiving dialysis for life, but according to one of the authors, Rachel Patzer from Emory University School of Medicine, “The current system has no financial incentive for dialysis providers to educate, to spend time with and to refer patients for transplant.”

Patients at for-profit facilities were 64% less likely to get on a transplant waiting list, 56% less likely to get a transplant from a deceased donor and 48% less likely to receive a kidney transplant from a living donor.

So if you are on dialysis at a for-profit treatment center, ASK about transplant options, don't just sit there assuming that dialysis is your only option.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Wearable Dialysis Devices

We have reported on this several times in the past, and now some such devices have been validated by a contest award. But when will we see them in production and in regular use?

The contest had 16 concepts submitted. The winners are invited to develop their ideas into prototypes and to compete in the second phase of the competition, in which up to three winners will be awarded $500,000 each next year.

Let's wait and see what happens after the winners get the funding boost.