Friday, 25 November 2011

Illegal Kidney Trading

We sometimes see this sort of thing in movies and tv programs, but many of us think it is just some plot line to make a show around. Wrong.

Two news items caught my eye today, one from Viet Nam, the other from Pakistan, both dated 25th November.

The story from Viet Nam involved a trader ring, who persuade others to cross the border to China and sell one of their kidneys.

Two of the gang members got started after selling their own kidneys, then got involved in transporting others to the kidney dealers in China. According to the court's verdict, from 2008 to February this year, the four members of the ring who have been sentenced to prison took 19 poor Vietnamese nationals from HCM City and southern provinces to China to sell their kidneys.

The second story came from Pakistan, The people come from rural areas like Yazman in Bahawalpur district, one of the areas that is carrying out this practice. Bahawalpur police said that last year 30 confirmed cases have been reported..

So I had a google around on this topic.

The same source of the above Pakistan news item reported, on 11th November, about an illegal kidney transplant centre run by a senior surgeon of the Lahore General Hospital.

And then I found a report of one man from Belarus, who spent a month locked up, waiting for the surgeon to come to remove his kidney to be implanted in an Israeli woman. He had replied to an advert offering good money to those willing to donate their organs. He received threats to his family if he spoke about his ordeal.

And finally, I came across an article which claimed that African refugees were captured by Bedouin tribes to have their organs transplanted. Here, it claimed, after harvesting the organs, the victims were left to die and dumped in an old well. (It also said several organs were removed, not just kidneys). Mobile clinics come from a private hospital in Cairo to an area in the deserts of Mid-Sinai and conduct physicals on the Africans before they choose those suitable, then they conduct the operation.

More worryingly, the doctors who are often involved in this trade have not seen any threat by the concerned authorities. Usually it's the middle men that get caught. Organ sales are, of course, banned across the globe.

I should point out that ALL these reports are dated this month.

Monday, 14 November 2011

DaVita buys another company

DaVita is the second biggest dialysis company in the US where it runs a large number of dialysis centers. It has operations in Singapore and Bangalore as well, and is looking at China as a future market. But is also has plans for Europe, where it already has a subsidiary.

It was reported recently in the Denver Post that DaVita has acquired a German dialysis company, ExtraCorp AG, a company that owns two dialysis centers, in Salzgitter and Seesen, and manages two others, in Dresden and Freital. And Davita is on the lookout for more European business. Perhaps because their is little room left for much growth in the US dialysis market.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Diabetes Mellitus Takes Its Toll

A recent study of patients with diabetes mellitus showed that the risk of developing chronic kidney disease rises with multiple episodes of acute kidney injury during hospital stays for patients with diabetes. Acute kidney injury is common in hospitalized patients, and the research showed that over half of them required at least one hospitalization during the follow up period, and 30% of those had at least one episode of acute kidney injury during their time in hospital. As diabetes is a major factor in kidney failure, suffering episodes like this while in hospital increases the risk of eventual failure. Preventing these problems occurring could help reduce problems later in life.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Texas Hold 'Em Benefit

In a dialysis blog you might be a bit surprised by this post's title, so let me explain.

Alport Syndrome Hope for Cure Foundation will be the recipient of funds raised at the 3rd Annual Texas Hold 'Em Tournament held on 11th November at the Gleneagles Country Club in Plano, Dallas.

The goal is to raise money to run a scientific research meeting into Alport Syndrome, a rare kidney disease, affecting mainly boys. While some people may go to the tournament to win prizes, and plenty are on offer, just remember that, like many events, there is also a caring side and children may benefit for the event.

Jonah Lomu - Update

There have been several more news items on the Rugby star's condition.

He is reported as recovering and still on regular dialysis, but has been given a slim chance of a "normal" life.

He has withdrawn from the charity boxing match mentioned in the previous article.

PS If you want to see what he was like as a player, just watch this compilation of him in action. There are many shots where he fends off three or more blockers simultaneously to get a touchdown. I noticed a couple of times when five blockers failed to stop his run; be amazed at his power.