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Concern over kids’ kidney damage

World Kidney Day today; Info lacking on CKD among children, say experts

KIDNEY failure not only affects adults but also children. Paediatric Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD) or permanent kidney damages is a growing concern in the State as well as in the country due to poor awareness. On the occasion of the World Kidney Day, Deccan Herald finds out the hurdles in early detection and treatment of CKD among children. 

Unlike adults, the etiological causes of CKD or renal failure among children are different. “Though there is a lot of information on adults with CKD hardly any information is available about CKD among children,” said Dr K Phadke, Paediatric Nephrologist from Children’s Kidney Care Centre (CKCC), St John’s Medical College Hospital. 

Symptoms of kidney related diseases are silent and vague in children. Some of the common factors in children are urinary tract infection, urinary tract blocks etc, he added.

Children’s Kidney Care Centre (CKCC) being one of the leading centres specialising in paediatric CKD and renal failure in the State gets many referral cases. Out of the 75 cases they receive on an average every month, 15 are new cases of CKD. And, more than 75 per cent of these cases are at the final stages of kidney failure. 

“For children suffering from CKD, kidney transplant is the first option, as dialysis is plagued with a lot of technical difficulties,” said Dr Phadke. In case of transplant children’s parents are treated as the first choice of donors. The centre has performed 40 transplants since its inception in 2000.    

Although, children have led a near normal life after the transplantation, Dr Arpana Iyengar from CKCC revealed that the life span of a transplanted organ is only 15 to 20 years. “In developed countries, CKD-affected children have undergone second and third transplants. However, here subsequent transplants are not feasible as we do not have a strong cadaver programme,” she said. 

Awareness is a key to early detection. “People are unaware that even children can be at risk of developing kidney failure. Awareness about the disease can lead to early diagnosis and thereby prevent its progress,” said Dr Iyengar.

(Published in Deccan Herald on 10th March, 2010)

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