Much Faster Kidney Transplant Option, But Is It Worth It For CKD & Dialysis Patients?

 
© ALL CREDIT TO THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS.

© ALL CREDIT TO THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS.

 

Many Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients have said, "I will do anything to get off of Dialysis." Others have rightfully noted, "Something has to be done about the Kidney Transplant Waiting List time. It is getting out of hand!" Well, Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University have heard the concerns from patients and have already begun the risky and drastic-sounding option of transplanting Hepatitis C infected kidneys into patients that are not infected with Hepatitis C which is almost sure to infect them with the virus. While this may seem extreme, with a rapidly growing Kidney Transplant Waiting List and thousands of Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients dying every year while awaiting a Kidney Transplant, the Medical Community's collective hands were forced to take this bold step. What's more, there is a catch.

Recommended Reading: Hepatitis C Spreads Across 19 Dialysis Clinics & Growing Due To Poor Infection Control Practices

Supporters of the Hepatitis C Kidney Transplant option are taking a major bet on new medications which promise to cure Hepatitis C. If successful, Researchers could potentially save the lives of thousands of patients. For instance, more than four-thousand (4,000) Chronic Kidney Disease patients could have been helped if Hepatitis C kidneys were not thrown away between the years of 2005 and 2014.  

Recommended Reading: Hepatitis C Among CKD-Dialysis Patients Are Rising - Killing More Than Any Other Infectious Disease

Still, it is important for patients to know that there are risks associated with accepting an infected kidney. The breakthrough medication intended to fight Hepatitis C only promises to cure ninety-five percent (95%) of cases. That may leave as many as five percent (5%) of Chronic Kidney Disease patients vulnerable to the fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, yellowing of the eyes and skin, as well as liver failure risks associated with the Hepatitis C virus. 

Recommended Reading: Hepatitis Outbreaks Are A "Continued Risk" For Dialysis Patients Because Of This Missed Step

Cost is also a factor since the price tag for Hepatitis C medication treatment is approximately forty-five thousand dollars ($54,000). Without subsidies or appropriate coverage, this would be far above the budget and affordability of most Chronic Kidney Disease patients, especially those on Dialysis, who will also need to cover the cost of expensive Immunosuppressant (Anti-rejection) Medications.

Recommended Reading: Transplantation Of Hepatitis C Infected Kidneys In Uninfected CKD & Dialysis Patients Intentionally

"We always dreaded Hepatitis C," said Dr. Peter Reese (University of Pennsylvania, Lead Researcher). Yet the fact that there are over 100,000 patients awaiting a Kidney Transplant and only about 17,000 individuals a year getting transplanted (four percent of patients die while waiting every year), has caused Chronic Kidney Disease patients to consider what Dr. Reese calls the "trade-off" of getting a new kidney years faster, but one that comes with a hopefully treatable infection.

Recommended Reading: Vaccinations For Chronic Kidney Disease Patients And The Effect On Their Long-Term Health

66-year-old Irma Hendricks chose to take the risk of accepting a Hepatitis C infected kidney and now, with her new kidney functioning well, she has enough energy to play with her toddler grandson. "This is giving people in my situation new hope," Hendricks noted.

Recommended Reading: High-Risk Kidney Transplants On The Rise As More CKD And Dialysis Patients Take Chance

Even if this new strategy is successful, it won't solve the problem. Hence, continue to do everything you are doing today to improve your chances of receiving a Kidney Transplant. There has been a steady increase in Altruistic (Selfless) Living Kidney Donation. If you would like KidneyBuzz.com to help share your story, then click here and sign up for the Find A Kidney Donor Campaign today.

Recommended Reading: FDA Announces Promising Breakthrough New Drug To Fight Common Infection In CKD & Dialysis Patients

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