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?
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.)
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.
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 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:
Every patient with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or in other words, Kidney failure needs to go on treatments that would “fill the gaps” in the errant functioning of the unwell kidney or completely replace it with healthy functioning. Dialysis is a way to fill the gaps while a Kidney Transplant is a complete replacement.
Kidneys are essential for sustaining life. Individuals who end up with very little or almost no kidney function, either due to an incurable disease, birth defect or extensive injury, require a solution to regain/assist with their kidney function. Kidney Transplant is one of the methods to do so.
This involves a surgical procedure of “transferring” a healthy, matched kidney from a willing donor to “implant” it in the belly of the patient requiring the organ. Hence the name, Transplant.
Vaccines are necessary to boost our immune power to effectively ward-off specific infections. They form a crucial part of medically preparing all patients of Chronic Kidney Disease for a kidney transplant surgery as well.
Breathing Difficulty in Chronic Kidney Disease is an inevitable accompaniment in advanced stages. But why does CKD make you breathless in the first place? Learn here.
The other day, some of us at Team ATK just sat reflecting on our pre-transplant days with Kidney Failure. And we all concurred on the helplessness we felt about that relentless “out-of-breath” sensation even at the slightest exertion. In fact, right after transplant, this was one of the first positive changes that I remember as uplifting my quality of life. I could breathe fully, freely & effortlessly again!