World Kidney Day, which falls on March 14th, raises global awareness about the vital function of the kidney and the impact of kidney disease.
This awareness day is meaningful for Baxter International Inc., one of the sponsors of World Kidney Day and a pioneer and leader in kidney disease therapy. The company takes pride in helping patients affected by the disease-including end stage renal disease (ESRD) patient, Silvio Prado.
When Silvio Prado's health worsened four years ago, he spent six months going to health clinics and doctors' offices before he learned the cause—ESRD.
"The disease was silent—the doctor said I may have had a kidney problem for more than ten years," said Prado, a 36-year-old who lives in Londrina, Paraná in Brazil, where he owns an ice cream store with his wife. "When I first found out, I cried a lot."
Prado's doctor informed him that there were treatment options. Patients with end-stage kidney disease commonly undergo either hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis (PD) to cleanse their blood of the toxins and waste products normally removed by healthy kidneys. While hemodialysis can be administered at home, it is typically administered in a hospital or dialysis center (also referred to as in-center hemodialysis); PD is typically administered at home and can be done overnight while sleeping.
On his doctor's recommendation, Prado decided to start PD.
"I was nervous at first. When you first see the bags, it looks very complicated," remembers Prado. "But my doctor explained everything to me, and I became more comfortable with the treatment."
He started with manual PD, also known as continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), administering it every 5 hours, 4 times per day. Then he decided to switch to using an automated PD machine during the evenings that performs exchanges automatically when the person is sleeping.
"Today I'm really used to the process," says Prado. "It's something I do every day."
He appreciates that administering the PD treatment at home in the evening eliminates frequent trips to a dialysis clinic and frees up time during the day for him to work at his ice cream store full time and take guitar lessons twice a week.
He supplements his treatment with a good diet and sleep schedule, as well as regular monthly check-ups with his doctor.
"I've found the treatment to be a blessing," he shares. "To sit and cry will not solve your problem—you may not always know what you're going to face, but you need to face it with a positive outlook."
To learn more about World Kidney Day, please click here.