Welcome to the Chronic Kidney Disease Insider Newsletter. If you are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) on dialysis, have had a kidney transplant or are helping care for someone who is, this newsletter was created for you and your family! The content is meant to keep you and/or a family member up to date on the latest information to help you manage your health now and in the near future in consultation with your physician.
In this month’s CKD Insider: NKF Pruritus Discussion, updated COVID booster, robotic surgical transplant, California proposition & Hawaii state updates, and your Fun Tip of the Day!
News from Kidney Organizations
NKF Itching (Pruritus) and Chronic Kidney Disease: A Doctor Patient Discussion NKF held a live event to discuss chronic kidney disease–associated pruritus (CKD-aP), a condition of itchy skin that is specific to people with CKD. The cause of CKD-aP is not completely understood, but it has been associated with a variety of CKD-related abnormalities. You can learn more from NKF about the event here, and watch the video here.
Updated COVID Booster Now Available The updated bivalent COVID booster, which includes the spike protein from both the original SARS-CoV-2 strain and the more recent Omicron strain, is now available and recommended for all, but especially those at higher risk for infection and worse outcomes such as those with kidney disease. FDA information can be found here. The National Kidney Foundation provides the following suggestions for scheduling an appointment for a booster:
If you need help scheduling a vaccine/booster, contact the location that set up your previous appointment
If you need to get a vaccine/booster in a location different from where you received your previous vaccination, there are several ways you can find a vaccine provider
There are a number of other ways you can look for vaccination/booster providers near you including:
Asking your doctor, pharmacist, or community health center if they provide vaccines/boosters
Contacting your state health department to find additional vaccination/booster locations in the area
Checking your local pharmacy’s website to see if vaccination/booster appointments are available.
Text your ZIP code to 438829
You can learn more about these immunizations from the National Kidney Foundation here.
Your Fun Tip of the Day!
Get outside and enjoy Fall Activities! Fall is a great time to get out and enjoy the activities that typically come with this time of year and a great time to connect with friends and family! Some fun ideas to get you started:
Go apple picking
Visit pumpkin patch
Attend a Fall Film Festival
Go cider tasting
New robotic surgical method opens up kidney transplantation to people previously ineligible
What it is: The UCHealth Transplant Center at the University of Colorado Hospital can now offer robotic kidney transplant surgery to those with a body mass index (BMI) over 40, which were previously ineligible for transplantation. Previously, those with a BMI over 40 were unable to receive critical transplant surgeries until they lowered their BMI. While UCHealth is the first hospital in the west of the country, it is not the first hospital to perform this procedure. Cleveland Clinic in Ohio performed the first such procedure almost three years ago. However, this expansion of capabilities to other regions of the United States opens up transplantation to many more patients with end-stage renal disease.
Why it matters to you: If you are on a transplant waiting list and are concerned about your eligibility it is important to understand your options.
For California residents: This November election Proposition 29 is up for a vote requiring a medical professional to be available in dialysis centers
What it is: In the upcoming November 8th election in California, Proposition 29 would require a licensed medical professional to be present, either in-person or remotely, in outpatient dialysis centers during treatment. It also requires centers to report cases of infection as well as any financial interest physician owners have in the company. This proposition aims to increase safety for those receiving outpatient dialysis in a center. Some people that oppose the proposal have concerns that added regulation and cost would lead to the closing of essential dialysis centers, even though the proposition includes a requirement for state approval prior to closing centers or reducing service. Similar initiatives have been proposed in the past that have failed in California.
Why it matters to you: If you live in California, regulations affecting outpatient dialysis centers may directly impact you or a loved one. You can learn more about this proposition below as you prepare to cast your vote in November.
Proposition overview via ballotpedia
For Hawaii Residents: New Dialysis Center Focused on Higher Risk Patients
What it is:A new dialysis center has opened in Kuakini, Hawaii and it is the first center in Hawaii focused on higher-risk patients.The center is a joint effort between Satellite Healthcare Inc. and other nonprofit organizations and it will serve those with end-stage renal failure that also have other health conditions.
You can read about this new center here.
Why it matters to you: If you live in Hawaii and are on dialysis it is important to know what are options are available to you.
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