Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion -

is 99 per cent. Re­cip­i­ents can live full lives af­ter their trans­plant.

Dr Kulka­rni is an ad­vo­cate for kid­ney trans­plants or home dial­y­sis if a trans­plant can’t be done, but said a healthy lifestyle could pre­vent chronic kid­ney dis­ease al­to­gether.

“Kid­neys work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take by-prod­ucts out of the blood, but many peo­ple are un­aware about the ma­jor role these or­gans play in main­tain­ing gen­eral health and well be­ing.

“Kid­ney prob­lems are in­creas­ing sub­stan­tially due to the ag­ing popu- la­tion and in­creased in­ci­dence of di­a­betes and high blood pres­sure.

“If a per­son suf­fers from kid­ney prob­lems it of­ten leads to other chronic dis­eases, in­clud­ing heart dis­ease and its com­pli­ca­tions.

“Seventy per cent of kid­ney pa­tients with de­te­ri­o­rat­ing kid­ney func­tion die be­fore they end up on dial­y­sis, be­cause of heart and car­dio­vas­cu­lar prob­lems – it’s all linked, it’s all prob­lems with the blood ves­sels. Once kid­ney dis­ease is ad­vanced it’s hard to stop so it’s im­por­tant to pre­vent it from the start.” There were 1140 pa­tients on dial­y­sis and 946 re­nal trans­plant pa­tients in WA at the end of 2013 and about 60 pa­tients are on the kid­ney trans­plant wait­ing list. Pa­tients are as­sessed be­fore they go on the list to en­sure they are fit enough to un­dergo the trans­plant surgery. They then wait for a com­pat­i­ble kid­ney to be­come avail­able on the state wait­ing list,­mu­ni­ d443743 un­less they have a fam­ily mem­ber or friend who is able to do­nate. The amount of time a pa­tient has spent on dial­y­sis is taken into ac­count, but the av­er­age wait­ing time is about 1-4 years, depend­ing on the per­son's blood type and com­pat­i­bil­ity. There are sig­nif­i­cant short­age of kid­neys avail­able for trans­plant.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

Kid­ney spe­cial­ist He­mant Kulka­rni flanked by pa­tients John Bloor and Joanne Whin­wray.

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