Huge news in the Chronic Kidney Disease Community! "Scientists have discovered how to bring 'dead' kidneys back to life, restoring their vigour so effectively that they can be used in transplants when they would normally have been incinerated [discarded]," according to The Sunday Times. For the over 100,000 Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients awaiting Kidney Transplants in the United States and their families, this announcement serves as fresh and much-needed hope. "The breakthrough could mean a rapid increase in the number of kidneys available for transplant," Jonathan Leake (Science Editor) reported.
This is not just theory. Two people have already received rejuvenated kidneys using the procedure pioneered by Dr. Mike Nicholson (professor of surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge), and they are working well. Deborah Bakewell, then 56, was the first patient to receive a donor kidney treated with a "new warming technique," reported Daily Mail in 2012.
Deborah said of her experience, "It didn't bother me that I was going to be the first in the world. I just thought let's get cracking. Come on let's get going. I wasn't worried because I had nothing to lose." She added that having the Kidney Transplant was "Amazing. Absolutely amazing. How I feel - my stamina, my energy - is equal to what it was before. This year I am having my first holiday in 6 years and we are actually leaving the UK for it."
The high-tech system, known as a Kidney Pulsatile Perfusion Machine, can keep kidneys "alive" by circulating preservation fluid around the organ which delivers the oxygen needed to rejuvenate and ensure vital tissues do not die. These findings will soon be presented at the Cambridge Science Festival. Dr. Nicholson said, "17% of the kidneys we get offered each year are rejected because of concerns about quality. If we could rejuvenate them it could make a huge difference.”
As the donated kidneys come back to life they resume their normal function of producing urine even while on the machine — typically about a pint an hour. The National Kidney Foundation found that "over 3,000 new patients are added to the kidney waiting list each month and 13 people die each day while waiting for a life-saving kidney transplant." This technological advancement may go a long way to preserve most of the "1 in 5 kidneys" which are currently rejected by doctors as reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune.
A question which most patients would like to know is, "Can this technology be used to rejuvenate my existing kidneys?" As of now, we do not know. However, KidneyBuzz.com will continue to report on this advancement as well as other exciting rejuvenation research currently being conducted at Stanford, Tel Aviv University, and other research institutions. What's more, this technology offers a lot of hope for a brighter future for Chronic Kidney Disease patients including those on Dialysis.
Would you accept a kidney that was rejuvenated by a Kidney Pulsatile Perfusion Machine or would you prefer to wait for a more traditional transplant option? Share your answer with the over 35,000 Friends who have liked KidneyBuzz.com on Facebook. Also, visit KidneyBuzz.com every day for the latest breaking news and information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure how to better manage and improve their lives. A KidneyBuzz.com viewer, Ric Zastre said, "Love the updates!"