About Kidney Disease...

The kidneys’ job is to clean out the blood. Regularly, kidneys filter 120-150 quarts of blood, producing 1-2 quarts of waste products and excess fluids (urine). Chronic Kidney Disease is the gradual functional deterioration of the kidney. The disease may not be apparent in the early stages, but as it reaches an advanced stage, symptoms and signs become more apparent.

Symptoms and Signs of Stage 5 Chronic Kidney Disease:

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Headaches

  • Tiredness

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Itching

  • Not producing urine

  • Swelling around eyes and ankles

  • Tingling in hands or feet

  • Muscle cramps

  • Changes in skin color/increased skin pigmentation

  • Bruising

Stage 5 Chronic Kidney Disease/Failure:

At Stage 5, the last stage, the kidneys are no longer able to remove waste and fluids therefore losing its ability to do the job effectively. Because of this, toxins build up in the blood. This is what we would call the End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) with glomerular filtration rate of 15ml/min or less. Which means there is a significant decrease where fluid in the patient’s blood is filtered across their capillaries. At this point, dialysis or a kidney transplant will be needed in order to live. 

Kidney Transplant:

 

There are over 93,000 people currently waiting on the kidney transplant wait list. About 4,000 people die each year waiting for a kidney transplant, many whom were good candidates for a transplant.

 

There are two options for a donating a kidney, a patient can receive one from a living person or from the deceased.  It is more favorable to receive a transplant from a living donor, as they last much longer than from a deceased. From a live donor kidney functions last, on average, 12 to 20 years, while from a deceased donor the kidney can last from 8 to 12 years.

 

If the transplant candidate does not have the option of a living donor, the wait is longer. Ms. Rico’s current wait time for a donor is 5 years. The wait for a deceased donor could be 5 years, but depending on the state, the wait may be closer to 10 years. The waiting time depends on how long a person has been on the wait list, blood type, immune system activity and availability of organs. Every patient is also limited by their area, as you must stay a certain distance from the chosen hospitals. In the event that a transplant does become available to a patient, they must arrive at the hospital as soon as possible to receive it.