Daniel Baldor from Dalby, Sweden has had a long journey with kidney disease.
Shortly after his diagnosis of end stage renal disease (ESRD) in 1984, Daniel received a kidney transplant, which only worked for three months. When the kidney failed, Daniel underwent both peritoneal dialysis (PD) and hemodialysis (HD) therapy until he received another transplant in 1994, which worked for 17 years. PD therapy works by cleaning the blood of toxins using the body's peritoneal membrane as the filter, and is typically conducted in a patient's home. With HD, which may be performed at home or at a center, blood is removed from the body and filtered through a dialyzer, and then returned to the body through tubing after being filtered.
That same year he received his second transplant, Daniel began working at Baxter's manufacturing facility in Lund, where dialysis equipment is manufactured—and where he still works to this day as an operator.
"As a renal patient, I have a lot of perspective about the importance of my job," Daniel says. "I'm very proud of my work."
He would realize again just how important dialysis would be to him when his second transplanted kidney started to fail in 2011. Daniel started using HD therapy again soon after. Today, he performs his therapy at home and successfully manages it in balance with his work schedule, which alternates between day and evening shifts. A film enthusiast and avid reader of biographies, memoirs and crime novels, Daniel also enjoys going on walks in the forests surrounding his town, swimming and occasionally riding his bike into the city as an excursion.
"I am grateful that I'm able to stay active," says Daniel.
A silent disease
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is said to be a silent disease; in many patients it may not be recognized until their blood pressure is noted to be elevated or they are found to have blood or protein in a urine test. Underestimated in its reach, CKD now impacts 1 in 10 people worldwide.1 It is often not diagnosed until the disease progresses to ESRD, which requires necessary dialysis therapy.2,3
A growing epidemic — a recent study that takes into account population growth and aging indicates dialysis treatments over the past 20 years have increased by as much as 134 percent globally.4 Currently, more than two million people worldwide require dialysis therapy.5
Anyone can develop CKD. However, individuals with high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney disease, or those that are overweight, smoke or older than 50 years of age are at a much higher risk of developing CKD.6,7,8
A sponsor of World Kidney Day 2014, Baxter urges those at risk of CKD to get screened. Early detection can be done by simple blood and urine tests, and can lead to treatment options that help maintain kidney health and reduce the risk of developing irreversible kidney failure and the need for dialysis therapy.
Diverse therapy options
Patients who have progressed to ESRD can choose from dialysis therapy options that meet their unique needs, including their clinical condition, age, access and lifestyle.
Lau Siu Chun, a 64-year-old homemaker in Fanling, Hong Kong, had initial reservations about starting dialysis treatment after being diagnosed with ESRD. However, after attending a pre-dialysis program at a local hospital and learning about her therapy options, she decided PD therapy was a good fit for her. For Chun, the convenience of receiving treatment at home instead of in a hospital has allowed her to have a more flexible schedule.
"Initially, I didn't have confidence in the therapy," Chun shared. "However, once I started to receive the PD treatment, I found the procedure was easy to use and I became familiar with it quickly."
Stephen Lott, a 41-year-old chief livestock officer in Kildare, Ireland, also did his research when choosing which therapy to use in treating his ESRD. After receiving multiple transplants that were unsuccessful, he decided to try High Dose HD at home. Lott wanted a treatment option that allowed him the opportunity to spend more time at home with his young family. Stephen's therapy involves eight hours of High Dose HD at home every night while he sleeps.
"I'm at a point now where I'm as good as I've ever been now that I'm on a nocturnal regime than when I'd been transplanted," Lott said. "I'm quite happy with where I am today."
For more information on World Kidney Day, March 13, 2014, visit worldkidneyday.org.
1World Kidney Day. Kidney FAQ; Your Amazing Kidneys. http://www.worldkidneyday.org/faqs/about-kidneys-and-kidney-disease/kidneys-and-chronic-kidney-disease//#ckdinelderly. Accessed February 13, 2014.
2National Health Service. Dialysis - advantages and disadvantages. Jul, 2009. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Dialysis/Pages/Advantages-and-disadvantages.aspx. Accessed February 13, 2014.
3Juergensen E, et al. Hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis: patients' assessment of their satisfaction with therapy and the impact of the therapy on their lives. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2006;1:1191-6.
4The Rapidly Growing Global Burden of End-Stage Renal Disease - An Analysis of the Change in Maintenance Dialysis Prevalence between 1990 and 2010. http://www.newswise.com/articles/prevalence-of-kidney-failure-treatment-is-skyrocketing-worldwide. Accessed February 13, 2014.
5Fresenius Medical Care. ESRD Patients in 2011; A Global Perspective. http://www.vision-fmc.com/files/download/ESRD/ESRD_Patients_in_2011.pdf. Accessed February 13, 2014.
6Kidney Care Partners. Chronic Kidney Disease in America. http://www.kidneycarepartners.com/chronic_kidney_disease.html. Accessed February 13, 2014.
7Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2014 National Chronic Kidney Disease Fact Sheet. http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/factsheets/kidney.htm#2. Accessed February 13, 2014.
8World Kidney Day. The 8 Golden Rules; What can you do for your kidneys? http://www.worldkidneyday.org/faqs/take-care-your-kidneys/8-golden-rules/. Accessed February 13, 2014.