An end-stage kidney disease patient will live longer with a kidney transplant than dialysis, say nephrologists emphasising on the need to have more cadaver donations to meet the demand for kidney transplants in the country.
On December 22, My Medical Mantra had reported about a 31-year-old Mumbai girl who has been on dialysis for 17 years.
While abroad pre-emptive kidney transplant is seen as the best option for most patients whose kidney disease is progressing to kidney failure, in India many end-stage kidney patients continue to live on dialysis.
“End-stage kidney disease patients have only two options – lifelong dialysis or kidney transplant. The latter is a superior treatment option,” said Dr Bharat Shah, secretary, Indian Society of Nephrology.
Shah, who is also the director of Institute of Renal Sciences, Global Hospital (Mumbai), said average survival of a person on dialysis is short.
Kidneys play role of a filter that removes waste and toxins from blood. High blood pressure and diabetes are common reasons behind the rising end-stage kidney cases in India. It is estimated that around 1,50,000 people in India are waiting for a kidney transplant, but only 3,000 of them get a transplant done. Of these, about 70% manage to get access to dialysis.
“Advantages of kidney transplant are improved quality of life and longevity. A patient on dialysis spends more money on treatment as recurrent hospital admission is common. In long term, such patients have risk of getting bone disease, viral infections like Hepatitis B and C that adds on to treatment cost,” said Dr Shrirang Bicchu, a Nephrologist at Bombay Hospital and a member of Mumbai Nephrologists Group.
Presently, around 3,100 en-stage kidney disease patients are registered with Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee (ZTCC) to receive a kidney. Number of patients waiting is up to 10 times more than those who get one.
“We need more cadaver organs as transplant is best option for end-stage kidney disease patients. A patient on dialysis has to get procedure done three times in a week and for them both, professional and personal life becomes a struggle” said Dr Rajesh Kumar, Nephrologist, Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital.