The Kidney Transplant Waiting List is overcrowded with 100,000 Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients waiting for a lifesaving Kidney Donor. Unfortunately, about 5 percent to 10 percent of people with End-Stage Renal Disease die every year while receiving Dialysis Treatments, suggested NBC News. Nearly 5,000 patients on the Kidney Transplant Waiting List pass away yearly without ever receiving a call. Well, new hope comes for the thousands of patients who desire a Kidney Transplant with a groundbreaking Johns Hopkins finding that shows Dialysis patients can receive kidneys from Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infected donors without contracting the virus while maintaining successful kidney function.
There are approximately 500 to 1,000 Hepatitis C Virus-infected kidneys that are discarded every year because they were thought to be damaged or too 'high-risk' for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients. While professionals had the best intentions, new findings suggest that those kidneys should be implanted into patients.
Lead Researcher, Dr. Niraj Desai (Director of the Kidney and Transplant Program at Johns Hopkins University), conducted a small study, where kidney patients were treated before Kidney Transplant surgery with an antiviral medication that prevents Hepatitis C from replicating in the body. The Dialysis patients in the study were very sick and had already spent years on the Kidney Transplant Waiting List with no viable living donors. Well, no longer since every patient in the study was cleared of the virus after taking a 12-week course of the oral medication, Zepatier, donated by Merck & Company, Inc. - who also funded the study.
While this does not solve the Kidney Shortage, it does allow as many as 1,000 otherwise discarded kidneys to be used to save and greatly improve Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients' lives. Dr. Desai noted, "Because there is a number of young, otherwise, healthy people dying of drug overdose, there’s this large pool of donors with Hepatitis C whose organs are available for transplant."
Due to the fact that on average, receiving a kidney transplant can double someone’s life expectancy, KidneyBuzz.com encourages you to discuss the use of Hepatitis C Virus-infected kidneys with your Kidney Transplant Team. Also, if you need assistance sharing your story to help meet living kidney donors, then click here for assistance from our team.
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