Kidney disease detected in early stages will result in timely initiation of strategies for retarding the progression of the disease and it will improve not only the quality of life but also decreases the financial load on the family, says a health expert.
Dr Kanav Anand, Pediatric Nephrologist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi said, “There is a general perception in society that organ transplantation is not possible in the case of children. This is especially so in the case
of children needing kidney transplantation.”
But citing medical advancements, the doctor affirms that it is now possible to do a successful kidney transplant for any child who is above 3 years and weighing over 10 kilograms in India, although internationally it has been successfully tried even in the younger lot. Successful renal transplantation is the optimal treatment for permanent kidney failure or end-stage renal disease.
“But way back in the 1950s when the first renal transplantation took place, children experienced poorer patient and graft survival rates and were allowed to die due to renal failure. But medical science has made giant strides since the last 60 years,” opines Dr Anand citing improved understanding of the human immune system that came about due to intense research and in-depth studies.
He said the common diseases that cause kidney failure in children are congenital structural disorders of the kidney and urinary tract, chronic glomerulonephritis, chronic interstitial nephritis and a few hereditary disorders.
“Studies show that renal transplants from living donors have better outcomes, and they are superior to those obtained from deceased donors,” said Dr Anand.
The number of people waiting for organs is far higher than the number of people who come forward to donate organs, he said.
“So, my message is loud and clear: we need awareness to protect your kidneys by making healthier lifestyle choices and by preventing or promptly managing health conditions that contribute to kidney damage,” said Dr Anand.
Nowadays, blood type compatibility is no more an issue, the doctor said. “We now have ABO incompatible kidney transplant technique,” said Dr Anand who has hands-on experience in doing the procedure. This advancement has actually helped in decreasing the demand: supply ratio in relation to organ transplantation, he said.