Dialysis: Back to the future with implantable artificial kidney

Hello and welcome to my first post for the New Year.  I hope you had a good Christmas and celebrated the arrival of 2011 in a style that set the tone for the year ahead.  My New Year was easy-going: we went to see The King’s Speech at the movies on New Year’s Eve, followed by a drive to Falls Creek, Victoria’s biggest alpine resort on New Year’s Day.  We stayed overnight and I was back in time for the BigD the next day.

The King’s Speech was a great movie: fabulous acting by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush and an inspiring message about how persistence and courage can win you back your life (a familiar theme, and not just for stammerers). (more…)

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“Tinkerer” builds his own Dialysis Machine

At various times, I wish we were a little more advanced with the BigD. I wish for access without needles, wearable artificial kidneys and stem cell therapy to regrow a healthy kidney. I am sure they will arrive, eventually.

But once I get over my impatience, reality sets in and I realise how lucky I am to be alive right now, when dialysis has not only been invented but is the streamlined, readily reproducible treatment I take for granted. And to some extent, the same goes for transplants. Today, no-one expects to die from kidney failure, they just (just?) go on dialysis and line up for a transplant. (more…)

Hello ‘Wearable Kidney’; Goodbye Dialysis Machine?

August was a big month for the BigD community. Early in the month, Dr. Christopher Chan, medical director of Home Hemodialysis at Toronto General Hospital’s University Health Network announced the results of a study of 1,239 patients over 12 years that showed that kidney patients who received home hemodialysis treatments lived as long as those who got kidney transplants from donors.

As has been found before, the study confirms that the more often the dialysis, the better the cardio-vascular health (weight is stable, which reduces impact on the heart) and quality of life. (more…)