March 17, 2010
Amrita School of Medicine, Kochi
On World Kidney Day, ie March 11, 2010, a function was organized at the Health Sciences campus to honor kidney donors and members of cadaver donor families. 250 renal or kidney transplants have been completed at Amrita till date, including 10 cadaveric transplants. The noble gesture of all donors has given a new lease of life to patients with kidney failure.
“In India, over 1,00,000 patients annually develop end-stage renal disease,” stated the organizers. “The term ‘end-stage renal disease’ refers to a condition wherein a patient has permanently lost over 90% of the function of his/her kidneys. This is a stage wherein patient needs to undergo life-long dialysis or kidney transplantation.”
What causes this condition?
Common causes of end-stage renal disease are said to be diabetes mellitus, hypertension, glomerulonephritis, kidney stones, recurrent urinary infections and some inherited kidney diseases.
In India, about 3500 to 4000 patients undergo kidney transplantation every year. A successful transplantation provides these patients with a good quality of life where they are able to carry out their normal daily activities quite well.
What happens to those who do not undergo kidney transplantations?
Such patients are usually unable to find a suitable related donor who can donate them a kidney. At Amrita, kidney donations are accepted from parents, siblings, off-springs or spouses. One way to help more patients is to increase the number of cadaver donations.
“At Amrita, we have a comprehensive kidney transplantation program; all essential departments and the laboratory support is provided under one roof,” explained the organizers. “A state-of-the-art hemodialysis unit prepares the patients for the transplant surgery; the unit has the latest computerized dialysis machines and monitors to ensure patient safety.”
In addition, the Nephrology unit with highly qualified nephrologists coordinates the pre-transplant evaluation with help from Urology and various other specialties. This evaluation is carried out to ensure that the patient is fit for the transplant surgery. All essential investigations are carried out in the laboratories and departments of radiology and nuclear medicine.
Well-equipped and modern operation theatres with experienced anesthesiology, urology and vascular surgery teams help provide a safe surgical procedure for patients. After surgery, patients are cared for in a dedicated Intensive Care Unit. Well-planned protocol-based post-operative care assists in prompt recovery after the surgery.
At Amrita, laproscopic donor nephrectomy (removal of kidney using laproscope) has been performed for the past six years, which reduces the length of the operative scar and pain associated with surgery. This also allows the early discharge of the kidney donor from the hospital so that she/he can easily resume their usual activities.