With the incidence of kidney failure on the rise, the need to increase hemodialysis centres, offering free treatment under Aarogyasri in the State and setting up similar paediatric facilities were stressed by an expert.

As many as 19 hemodialysis centres were currently functioning across the State in Public-Private Partnership mode. But they were catering only to 20 per cent of the total requirement and more would have to be established — at least one in each district headquarter hospital and some satellite centres where the incidence of kidney failure was higher as in parts of Srikakulam and Khammam districts, said Dr. Pradeep Deshpande, Professor of Nephrology and former principal of Gandhi Medical College.

He said that around two lakh new cases of kidney failure were getting added each year across the country. Although Andhra Pradesh was doing better than other States in terms of offering free dialysis treatment to the poor and the financially weak, the facilities were still inadequate.

For instance, only 3-5 per cent of those afflicted with renal failure were able to undergo kidney transplant, while dialysis was hardly catering to about 15-20 per cent of the total patients.

Initially, patients would receive conservative treatment and only when there was 80 per cent kidney failure would they be put either on dialysis or transplantation.

Since every patient of renal failure could not undergo transplant for a variety of reasons, including shortage of donor pool, the next best option was hemodialysis.

Dr. Deshpande said that new concepts of home hemodialysis and nocturnal hemodialysis were becoming popular. Some of the private hospitals in the city were offering home hemodialysis and the required equipment costing around Rs.15-20 lakh would be set up at the patient’s residence.

Similarly, nocturnal dialysis would enable the patient to get dialysis for more number of hours and get better quality of life.

While the kidneys normally filter 180 litres of blood everyday to produce two litres of urine, the hemodialysis machines were doing part of the kidney function with the patients getting dialysed for only 10-12 hours a week.

He said scientists and nephrologists in USA and elsewhere were trying to develop a wearable artificial kidney, which would mimic the function of natural kidneys. Once developed and tested, the device would be of great boon to kidney failure patients as it was expected to be operational 24 x 7.

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