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Updated on December 3, 2012


I reckon most people by now know just what a vital organ the Kidney is and also have heard of Dialysis. However, not until one is made aware of the difficulty experienced over the years by those suffering from Kidney failure or malfunction, that the true effect on human life can be fully appreciated. Initially, Dialysis had to be performed in Hospital and thus, the patient had to deal with a regime which required regular attending for a longish process which obviously was better than the terminal alternative, but which still made a normal life pattern impossible to maintain. The development of "in home" Dialysis machines eased that problem but Kidney failure or malfunction continued to be a major obstacle to the patient leading what most of us would regard as a normal life.

To put matters into perspective, let us consider , for a moment, the simple function of the Kidney. Effectively, the organ is our key waste and water filter which removes toxic elements from the body and enables the non toxic elements to be used and then removed in the normal cycle of life. For some and for a variety of reasons, the function of the Kidney fails ,leading up to a build up of toxicity in the body, which ,if unchecked leads to the most serious of consequences for the person concerned. Thus Dialysis, in whatever inconvenient form it is available, is a vital procedure for sufferers.

A proportion of Kidney failure is related to what are now termed "lifestyle" choices. This is a polite way of saying the failure is brought on and self inflicted by the pattern of life adopted by the sufferer. Diabetes is a common cause and some Diabetes are linked directly to Obesity. Readers of my Hubs will know of my campaign to make people who are clearly overindulging in the wrong forms of nutrition ,to change their ways, or have them changed for them by outside sources and measures. However, that is not the main issue here, for the thrust is to welcome a new breakthrough in Dialysis treatment that could benefit all sufferers whether self inflicted or not.



The breakthrough which has been signalled enhances procedures surrounding Dialysis treatment processes to give the patient a better quality of life until a transplant becomes available, and if not, a permanent aid to enable a less invasive life pattern to be followed.

It is estimated that in the UK alone, over 55,000 patients with serious kidney problems are currently depending on Dialysis machines for their very lives, their kidneys having reached the end stage of failure.To enable the machines to function, periodic surgical operations are required , conducted by a specialist to join up a vein to a close by artery to enable sufficient blood flow in the vein to allow the machine to function.

Now, trials in Hospitals in Manchester and London, seem likely to offer a new solution and also overcome a problem in the existing system. This involved specialists putting in place in the vena cava, a catheter to overcome scar tissue which builds up as a result of the earlier procedures. This operation is rated a a high risk operation.

To avoid that situation, the trials show that a silicone tube, known as an Optiflow, could provide a new route. This involves stopping the blood flow in a determined vein and artery. Once a cut is made in the vein, the narrower end of the Optiflow tube is inserted into the vein with grips on the outside of it to fix it securely. Once this is done, attention turns to the artery. A small hole is punched into to allow the larger end of the tube to be inserted. Two small flanges near the end of the tube then ensure it stays fixed. The blood flow is re started and the vein can then be directly connected to the Dialysis machine. Clearly, when this becomes generally available, hopefully in 2013, whilst the suffers will still need the assistance and thus the inconvenience of the Dialysis machine, the tube will function permanently or until a transplant occurs. Effectively, the need for specialist operations will be negated or vastly reduced and the very risky vena cava operation no longer required.

Thus, the future for those already requiring Dialysis looks somewhat brighter, whilst for those putting themselves in unnecessary danger of future needs for it, it is a timely reminder to take up a more sensible lifestyle.


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