Lupus is a prominent name among the myriad chronic inflammatory conditions where the body’s immune system begins attacking its own tissues. This autoimmune condition can impact virtually any organ of the body. It is incurable, the clinical presentation is widely variable with sometimes debilitating flares and the complications, potentially fatal in some cases when left untreated. Among other organs, Kidneys are a prime target here. So, as a portal dedicated to nephrology, let us walk you through the what-why-how of this challenging autoimmune disorder with specific focus on Lupus Nephritis – its kidney chapter. It is Lupus Awareness Month (May) after all!
Understanding the complete COVID19 Warrior Toolkit: Kids’ Edition
The COVID19 pandemic has generally seen children co-operating with following necessary precautions. However, rampant misinformation circulating online has also had its toll on impressionable minds in the form of harmful anti-mask & anti-immunization (without medical reasons) attitudes. Moreover, stringent posturing, a chastising rhetoric and occasional confused messaging by some frustrated authorities w.r.t. COVID19 policies are only proving counter-productive.
Amidst such times, how to keep your children motivated to continue following what’s scientific & logical?
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COVID19 Vaccines vs Evusheld ® vs Mask: What works the best in Immunocompromised?
COVID19 prevention has been a tough nut to crack especially in the Immunocompromised. On one hand, the COVID19 vaccines fell short in patients with moderate to severe weakening of immunity. This included kidney patients with advanced pre-dialysis state, those on dialysis and post-transplant. On the other, in certain kidney patient cohorts who did develop traceable immune response to the vaccines ended up with a flaring of pre-existing underlying autoimmune kidney diseases like IgA Nephropathy.
Then we have Evusheld ® – drug maker AstraZeneca’s new long acting monoclonal antibody combo shot. This antibody drug (generic name: AZD7442) was granted an Emergency Use Authorization by the USFDA on December 8th, 2021. With its “ready-made immune protection”, this long acting antibody (LAAB) drug shows promise in preventing symptomatic COVID19 in immunocompromised patients (just like vaccines do in immunocompetent). However, only time will tell how well it performs on-field. Read more here.
But then, amidst this steady inflow of pharmacological strategies to ward-off COVID19, if something has managed to survive it’s the utility of the humble face mask. Of-course, other COVID safe practices like following strict hygiene protocols and avoiding crowds go hand-in-hand.
So what works the best?
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Evusheld ® : “Readymade” Immune Protection against COVID-19 in Immunocompromised
When vaccines fall short in offering relevant immune protection in the Immunocompromised, what really works? When such suboptimal immune protection wanes a lot faster in comparison to that immunocompetent individuals, is there a better option?
“Ready-made”, sustainable Immune Protection perhaps?
Well that’s exactly what Evusheld ® – drugmaker AstraZeneca’s “New Kid on the Block” in the long-acting monoclonal antibody drug combo can potentially offer.
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Poor response to COVID Vaccine in Kidney Patients: Decode the Science-Understand your Options
COVID19 vaccine inoculations are the best possible protection for most health profiles that science offers against this pandemic menace. However, as we know, COVID vaccines in their initially recommended dose schedules proved less effective in immunocompromised individuals. This was irrespective of whether poor immunity resulted from a medical condition or due to immuno-suppressive medication. Patients with advanced Chronic Kidney Disease & Kidney Transplant recipients are a prominent subgroup in this population subset of the “Vaccine Helpless”.
◾ So how did poor immunity in kidney patients impact vaccine effectiveness?
◾ Will repeated immune challenge with extra doses as part of primary vaccine series truly help all kidney patients? How tenable is it?
◾ Any better alternatives to garner adequate immune protection for our cohort without going overboard with the “immune challenge” and/or inviting side-effects of major concern?
Read on to decode the relevant science and understand your options for adequate immune protection against COVID-19.
(DISCLAIMER: The article is purely a medically feasible insight on current evidence from peer-reviewed scientific literature on COVID-19 vaccine efficiency, its shortcomings & potential relevant alternative pharmacological solutions w.r.t. patients with chronic kidney disease. The intention is to place the facts as they are with due respect to Science. It is not intended to promote any vaccine hesitancy or support anti-vaxxer views. It does not represent any political positioning either.)
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Kidney Transplant: Hospital Recovery after the Surgery
Imagine this. You’re yet to open your eyes, but you’re conscious. You can hear hushed voices around you, sense a strong ambient smell, get a feeling of being “lifted & wheeled somewhere”. At a point, you feel a sudden pain on one side of your lower abdomen. It’s only a matter of time that you open your eyes nice & wide and if health & luck are on your side, you recognize most of those masked faces, where you are and what you just underwent. Wondering what’s this all about? Well, that’s my own experience of waking-up after my Kidney Transplant Surgery.
Of course things may differ individually, depending on how the new kidney works in a recipient and his/her general health. Despite variable experiences, once you do wake up, you officially enter the Transplant Survivor Club. Congratulations!
So how does the rest of your hospital stay look like?
That is what we aim to walk you through, with this article.
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Kidney Transplant Complications
Kidney Transplant saves precious lives. But it also qualifies as a major surgery involving complicated procedures. This holds true for both the donor kidney retrieval surgery and implantation of the donor kidney into the recipient (patient). Quite naturally, both surgeries may entail risks / possible complications during and after the procedures, both in the short & long term. It is these possible risks/complications of Kidney Transplant are what we aim to walk you through, today.
We will first cover the risk-profile associated with Kidney Donation followed by that for the Kidney Recipient. The article presents the list of complications as per the time points at which they usually appear after the surgery. Read on to get a comprehensive insight on the what-why-how of these complications below.
NOTE: This article only covers complications from the kidney transplant procedure. Adverse effects expected from anti-rejection & other medications that a kidney recipient is put on, will be explained in a separate article.
Kidney Disease in Transgender Individuals
On Transgender Day of Visibility, we came across a number of relevant articles on the need for better representation of the Transgender community in various spheres of life.
Invariably, our attention turned towards their representation, inclusion & access to healthcare, especially with respect to kidney disease. This basic thought drove us to present you with evidence based insight into the risk & prevalence of kidney disease in the Trans community that can be linked to Gender affirmation treatments.
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Kidney Transplant: The Operation
Kidney Transplant is the surgical procedure to trans-fer a healthy, matched kidney from a willing donor & im-plant it in a patient with kidney failure to prolong the patient’s life. Till date, this is the best treatment for the majority of patients with kidney failure due to Chronic Kidney Disease.
Team ATK has always advocated in favour of gaining a thorough understanding of your disease process & treatments.
Keeping in sync with this principle, our article today dissects the kidney transplant surgery for you. We present the topic in two parts as below:
Kidney Transplant: Before the surgery – II
Hello kidney warriors & knowledge seekers! Today, we continue from our previous article on all steps that kidney patients & kidney donors need to follow before getting admitted to the hospital for a Transplant surgery.
The article today explains the basic workflow involved for every kidney patient scheduled for a transplant & their donor starting from hospital admission until they finally get to go under the knife.
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