Thursday, 14 June 2012

Kidney Donor Refused Insurance

One of the first things that is checked after a matching donor is found is that they are in good health. Very good health. So when Radburn Royer donated a kidney to his daughter, Erika, he was glad to be told he was in great shape.

But when he tried to get medical insurance and life insurance, he was told he had chronic kidney disease as he only had one kidney. The refusal has stunned him. As a donor he had to be in great shape to be accepted, but two insurance companies are saying otherwise.

There is little data on how often kidney donors have trouble obtaining insurance, but advocates say the fear of being uninsurable may be a powerful deterrent to donation. A 2006 study done by an advocacy organization for transplant professionals found that 39 percent of transplant centers reported that they had had eligible donors who declined to donate because they feared having future insurance problems. Being treated like this could potentially affect thousands of people (especially those with family of their own who would like to think they would be looked after if anything went wrong).

This article mentions several others who faced similar treatment when seaking various types of insurance. Other donors faced problems at work if they needed more time to recover than expected. This sort of thing will not encourage potential donors

Monday, 4 June 2012

Hope for Kidney Regeneration

Indiana University School of Medicine scientists have successfully transplanted primary kidney cells intravenously to treat renal failure in rats, pointing the way to a possible future alternative to kidney transplants and expensive dialysis treatments in humans.

The researchers (above), Katherine J. Kelly, M.D., associate professor of medicine, and Jesus Dominguez, M.D., professor of medicine, genetically modified the cells in the laboratory to produce a protein – called SAA – that plays an important role in renal cell growth, embryonic kidney development and kidney regeneration after an injury. Modified cells found their way to the appropriate locations of the damaged kidneys, resulting in regeneration of tissue and improved function in the kidney.

"Ultimately, you can imagine taking a part of someone's kidney, expanding those cells with appropriate growth factors in a tissue culture dish, and then giving the cells back," said Dr. Kelly.

The researchers cautioned, however, that much work remains to be done before tests could begin in humans.

Their work will be published in an article in American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology, read the abstract