In the UK, there are approximately 44,000 people living with Established Renal Failure, a life threatening illness, and the patient must rely on dialysis or a transplant to keep them alive. Approximately 7000 patients are awaiting a kidney transplant. In contrast, only approximately 1900 kidney transplants are carried out each year. Many dialysis patients spend between 3 and 5 hours, 2 to 3 times a week connected to a dialysis machine in a hospital renal unity, making everyday life extremely difficult and often limited. Kidney failure also introduces additional health issues (which continue even after transplantation), such as narrowing of blood vessels which substantially increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes; bone disease; anaemia, increased risk of certain cancers, to name but a few.
Unfortunately dialysis is not a long term solution and a transplant is not a cure, throughout this journey renal patients face many problems and issues.
The National Kidney Federation, a charity which is run by kidney patients, cares for kidney patients by providing support, advice and practical help, and our patient support services and our work to improve medical treatment and provision make a real difference to thousands of lives in your community and across the UK.