Saturday, 24 March 2018

Everything You Need To Know About Being A Live Kidney Donor

It's not normal for a blog like this to post a link to a womans/fashion magazine, but today, that's exactly what I am doing. Yes, seriously.

The article in this week's Elle looks into how singer Selena Gomez received a kidney from best friend Francia Raisa. It takes a clear plain language approach to discussing a variety of things about kidney failure and what's involved in being a live donor.

I feel we should thank them for opening up the topic such wide audience of people.

So have a read of Elle's article (I'm linking to the UK edition, it might also be in the editions for other countries, I'm not fully up to date on my  fashion magazines...)

To quote from the article:
"There is a common misconception, among people who have not had a lot of experience with kidney disease, that cadaver donation is the only pathway back to health.

Living donation isn't widely discussed in the mainstream enough for people to truly understand the ins and outs of giving someone a kidney while you're still living and breathing.

But, in fact, live kidney donation is a lot more common than you likely know, with about a third of all kidney transplants carried out in the UK coming from living donors. And you don't have to be a family member to offer someone an organ - plenty of kidney donations come from friends or non-directed altruistic kidney donations (anonymously)."

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Kidneys Infected with Hepatitis C Safe for Dialysis Patients

Researchers at Johns Hopkins report their use of a drug that cures the infection, leaving the kidneys suitable for use by dialysis patients desperate for a transplant.

They carried out a small study (only ten very sick patients were involved), where patients were given a transplant with an infected kidney, then treated with a drug prevents hepatitis C from replicating in the body. In each test, the patient had been waiting for quite some time for a donor but no suitable living donor was available. This was a very risky experiment for these patients. But it was worth it - all 10 patients were found to be clear of the virus after their 12-week course of medication using Zepatier, donated by Merck which funded the study, was complete.

Normally kidneys infected with hepatitis would be rejected as an option for transplants. Will this research doesn't mean there will be a flood of new potential donors, it will increase the pool of available organs, and should enable more transplants to take place.

You can read more about this in the research article here from the Johns Hopkins researchers, and also in an earlier report here, and on NBC NEWS, which includes an interview with one of the team.

There are several other articles on this type of treatment if you just google on  "hepatitis c kidneys used in transplants".