Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Love and a Transplant

After splitting up with a girlfriend, contact often fades away. One thing you don't expect to do 20 years later is donate a kidney, and fall in love again.

The UK's Telegraph reports in a recent issue that's exactly what Gordon Henry has done, after splitting up from Jo Macfarane in 1993.

After hearing that Jo's chronic kidney condition meant she was in need of a transplant, Gordon decided to step in and lend a hand, or a kidney to be more exact. And amazingly he turned out to be a perfect match. After the operation, with the donor and recipient waking up in adjoining beds, nurses dropped a hint that Gordon might secretly still want her back. and now they are back together again.

They split up after they had a son, and 20 years on Gordon thought that donating a kidney "was a chance to repay her for all she's done for our son, she's brought him up all these years."

You can read the story here.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Kidney Transplants May Help Obese Patients with Kidney Problems

Often, medical treatment has to balance the overall benefit and life expectancy of the patient. When resources are limited or expensive, someone with several problems may be considered less likely to benefit from expensive treatment for one problem when another problem makes the treatment just a stop gap before the other life threatening problem drags their health down even more.

However a recent article suggests that in the case of a kidney transplant, obese patients are just as likely to make good progress as normal or thin patients. The risk of death over the next year decreases by about 66% in obese patients who receive a transplant, compared to obese patients staying on dialysis. This is very much the same as for non-obese patients.

This report on some recent research seems to contradict earlier research which suggested that obese patients on dialysis did better than thin patients and worse after a transplant.

You can read the article here; the research was conducted at the University of British Columbia and St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, Canada.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Don't just sit there...

Dialysis, by its very nature, requires patients to do a lot of sitting around (or lying around) during the actual treatment. Dialysis however, tends to break down protein within the muscle fibre, and so patients become weak and less mobile.

Doctors from the University of Virginia, echoing what has been said many times over the years, recommend patients should take some exercise to stay healthy. They are recommending a program called Sit Fit - exercises that can be done while sitting, for patients during the dialysis itself. It uses a type of exercise bike, and the pedalling required benefits patients.

A search using Google reveals reports on this sort of exercise going back many years. So while not exactly new news, and there are alternatives to the Sit Fit program, it might be news to some of you. So in conclusion, don't just sit there, get those pedals working. You'll feel so much better afterwards.

Here's a link to a pdf from the famous Guys and St Thomas hospital in the UK, on dialysis and pedalling towards a better life. And an image of the exercise bike in action.