Dialysis is not the cure for kidney disease, but the purpose of this procedure is only to aid in removing wastes from the body. In people suffering from acute renal failure, dialysis is only required until the kidney function improves. However, people suffering from chronic kidney disease may have to be put on dialysis for the rest of their lives or until they receive a transplant.
Dialysis is not a replacement for a kidney. The kidneys perform several other functions apart from removing toxins. One such important function is production of the hormone erythropoietin, which is responsible for the production of RBCs. It cannot be implemented for other functions. Besides, it is not entirely a safe practice as there are some side effects of kidney dialysis. It carries certain risks, such as that of infection. Also, the process which stretches to about 3 to 7 hours, several times over a week, can be overwhelming for patients.
There is no doubt that dialysis improves the life span of a patient to a great extent. The inconvenience caused due to it can be minimized by certain advanced techniques as well as home dialysis.
Nephrologists say the number of patients seeking treatment for renal failure is increasing by approximately 10 per cent every year. The prohibitive cost of drugs is making life miserable for the patients as well as their relatives. A large number of patients with Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) require dialysis as part of the treatment. Each dialysis session costs approximately Rs. 1,500. The mandatory drug, erythropoeitin, used for the treatment of patients with renal failure, costs Rs. 1,500 per injection. Not all patients have the resource to undergo dialysis twice or thrice a week. Only one per cent of the CRF patients go in for MHD, while one or two per cent opt for kidney transplantation. "Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) is another option, but this treatment may cost Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 a month. A sterile fluid, filled into the abdominal cavity, filters the waste. The CAPD apparatus is expensive and the fluid is also imported. A minimum of three exchanges (per day) is needed to maintain the patient in good health,"
If the patient is poor and suffers from chronic renal failure, a slow and painful death is inevitable. Every hi-tech medicine comes with a cost. Those who can afford the treatment will survive. Poor patients who cannot afford even regular sessions of dialysis, leave alone kidney transplantation, are left with no choice. It is not just the medicines, but life too, that comes with a price tag. The situation in Government hospitals has become worse. Some hospitals do not have dialysis machines while some do not have people to operate them.
Most in need of dialysis donâ€™t get it
Dialysis would seem like a ray of hope for many people whose kidneys have failed, as the cost for this process is denying treatment to them. However, only 22.5 per cent of the patients requiring dialysis receive the treatment, due to the cost. Although there are many dialysis centres run by hospitals and charitable institutions. So this is also our equal responsibility to provide the dialysis facility freely to the most needy people in the community like we share the Gospel. Through this we can show the love of Jesus Christ by deed also.