Just a Dad with Kidney Disease

2023-01-11T14:08:01-05:00January 11th, 2023|Categories: Dialysis, eNews, In-Center Hemodialysis, Kidney Transplant, Quality of Life|

By Gene Blankenship, DPC Board Member Being a dad with kidney disease is something that I never imagined when I was younger.  Actually, I never once pictured myself as a person who would be challenged by kidney failure, even though I watched my dad "Big Gene" struggle with end stage renal failure all my life until his death when I was 12 years old. Now, my weeks each have an automatic 16 hours at the dialysis center (20 hours with travel) during “prime time” completely scheduled for me until I receive a transplant.  Those 20 hours are the perfect [...]

COVID is Surging Again

2023-01-11T13:59:28-05:00January 4th, 2023|Categories: eNews, Immunizations, Physical Health|Tags: |

We are now at the end of the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic and once again in a winter surge. According to data from the CDC, hospitalizations have surpassed what was seen this past summer and for people 60 or older – the group most vulnerable to more severe infection, that number has drastically increased since mid-November. In part, this latest surge can be attributed to XBB.1.5, the latest Omicron subvariant, which has evolved to be better at evading immunity from both vaccination and previous infection. There are other factors that play into the surge though, including time of year [...]

Improving Pregnancy Outcomes for Women on Dialysis or with a Kidney Transplant

2022-12-07T13:02:51-05:00December 1st, 2022|Categories: Dialysis, eNews, Kidney Transplant, Physical Health|

New research suggests that pregnancy outcomes are improving for women on dialysis or with a kidney transplant. Hayet Baouche, MPH, of APHP-Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, REIN Registry in Paris, France and colleagues reported in Clinical Kidney Journal that from 2010 – 2020, the frequency women on dialysis becoming pregnant increased. There was a decrease in hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and polyhydramnios, as well as lower rates of neonatal and perinatal deaths compared to previous decades, likely attributed to advancements in obstetric and neonatal care, and progress in fetal monitoring and dialysis treatments. A systematic review of 14 retrospective and prospective studies [...]

Supreme Court Erases Kidney Patients’ Insurance Protections

2022-11-02T22:09:11-04:00October 27th, 2022|Categories: Costs for Treatment, The Kidney Citizen, Treatment|

By Megan Hashbarger, DPC Vice President of Government Relations and Jackson Williams, DPC Vice President of Public Policy A U.S. Supreme Court ruling has nullified the law that protects dialysis patients from discrimination by insurers, threatening the system of financing kidney care that has stood for 40 years. The Court ruled that employer health plans may limit dialysis benefits. For four decades, employers understood the law as prohibiting limitations that only applied to dialysis. Some health benefit consultants encouraged a few small employers to disregard the law by paying no more than Medicare rates for dialysis. DaVita [...]

Navigating a Renal Diet: Decoding the Mystery

2022-11-02T21:39:30-04:00October 27th, 2022|Categories: Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Nutrition, Staying Healthy, The Kidney Citizen|

By Fanny Sung Whelan, MS, RDN, LDN How to navigate a renal diet based on your kidneys’ needs No matter what stage of kidney disease you’re in, all of the different diet recommendations can cause your head to spin. Pair it with other conditions you may have, and you’ve got a real recipe for confusion! So how can you sort out all of the differences in what you can and can’t eat? Here we are going to outline the diet guidelines for the different stages of kidney disease. Disclaimer: it is important to discuss any diet changes with your [...]

Digital Health Records – You can now access them, but not easily

2022-10-13T12:03:40-04:00October 7th, 2022|Categories: eNews, Quality of Life, Treatment|

On October 6, 2022, new federal rules took effect that require health care organizations to give patients unrestricted access to their digital health records. These rules that were passed under the 21st Century Cares Act are designed to empower patients by not only giving them the ability to access their own data, but also decide who to share that data with, which was previously not the case. This means that patients can better understand their care, shop for services, and engage in their own research. It also removes roadblocks such as fees and delays that were the norm for patients requesting [...]

Organ Transplants Are Up, but the Agency in Charge Is Under Fire

2022-10-13T11:58:54-04:00September 20th, 2022|Categories: Dialysis, eNews, Kidney Transplant|

By Blake Farmer, Nashville Public Radio September 7, 2022 For the past decade, Precious McCowan’s life has revolved around organ transplants. She’s a doctoral candidate studying human behavior in Dallas who has survived two kidney transplants. And in the midst of her end-stage renal disease, her 2-year-old son died. She chose to donate his organs in hopes they would save a life. Now her kidney function is failing again, and she’s facing the possibility of needing a third transplant. But the process of finding that lifesaving organ is rife with problems. Roughly 5,000 patients a year are dying on the waitlist — even as [...]

World’s First HIV-Positive to HIV-Positive Heart Transplant Performed

2022-08-08T15:39:52-04:00August 4th, 2022|Categories: eNews, Kidney Transplant|

Earlier this spring, a woman in her 60s became the first to receive an HIV-positive to HIV-positive heart transplant. She suffered from advanced heart failure and received the donation, which happened simultaneously with a kidney transplant, during a four-hour surgery at Montefiore Health System in the Bronx. The woman spent five weeks recovering in the hospital and is currently being monitored by transplant physicians at Montefiore. In 2013, the HIV Organ Policy Equality Act enabled people living with HIV to donate their organs to HIV-positive recipients, but this is the first time this opportunity has been able to happen for heart [...]

Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Ever End?

2022-11-02T21:40:19-04:00August 1st, 2022|Categories: Dialysis, eNews, Immunizations, Mental Health, The Kidney Citizen|Tags: |

By Alan S. Kliger, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, and Chair, Excellence in Patient Care Advisory Committee, American Society of Nephrology Updated October 2022 Some recent quotes I’ve heard - - - I’ll bet you have too: “Who can even pay attention when the subject of COVID-19 is raised?” “Enough already – I’m through with it” “What’s the difference? Even with vaccines and boosters, I still got COVID twice!” After nearly three years of this pandemic, COVID-19 infection has gone from a frightening and deadly disease to a major disruptor of our lives, to [...]

Just how accurate are rapid antigen tests? Two testing experts explain the latest data

2022-07-07T12:42:50-04:00July 1st, 2022|Categories: eNews, Immunizations, Staying Healthy, Uncategorized|Tags: |

Once in short supply, rapid antigen tests are now available throughout the U.S. Nathaniel Hafer, UMass Chan Medical School and Apurv Soni, UMass Chan Medical School As of May 2022, the U.S. is experiencing another uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases. High rates of infection in Europe and Asia, along with the continued emergence of new sub-variants, such as omicron BA.4 and BA.5, raise concerns that another surge could be on the way. Even though demand for COVID-19 tests greatly overwhelmed supply earlier in the pandemic, rapid home tests are more available today. While home tests provide a quick, [...]

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