- It is necessary when the kidneys fail and the organs cannot remove toxins from the blood.
- Around 30,000 people currently need dialysis and this will increase to 143,000 in 2033.
The number of people requiring regular life-saving dialysis treatment on the NHS is expected to rise by almost 400 per cent in the next decade, a leading kidney disease charity has warned.
The crucial blood cleansing procedure is necessary when the kidneys fail, meaning the organs can no longer remove dangerous toxins from the blood.
Currently, about 30,000 adults and children need dialysis, which involves several trips to the hospital each week to be hooked up to a machine for hours at a time. But according to Kidney Research UK, this figure is expected to rise to around 143,000 by 2033.
The charity has called on the NHS to take urgent action to detect chronic kidney disease early and help limit the number of patients who will progress to the point where they will need dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Currently, about 30,000 adults and children need dialysis, which involves several trips to the hospital each week to be hooked up to a machine for hours at a time.
Chronic kidney disease occurs when the kidneys (which remove waste products from the blood and make urine) no longer work as well as they should. It usually worsens over time and the damage cannot be reversed.
The disease affects around 7.2 million Britons but is expected to increase by around 400,000 in the next decade, driven mainly by the growing number of people with high blood pressure and obesity. Patients with high blood pressure and diabetes are at higher risk of developing the disease.
Chronic kidney disease occurs when the kidneys, which remove waste products from the blood and make urine, no longer work as well as they should.
Because there are often no early symptoms of chronic kidney disease, many patients will not be diagnosed until the disease has become severe. At this stage, they often require dialysis. However, late last year, The Mail on Sunday revealed that 40 per cent of people with high blood pressure and diabetes are not offered a simple urine test by their GP that can identify kidney problems at an early stage. Kidney Research UK is calling on GPs to ensure that all patients considered at risk are offered the test.
The urine test looks for a protein called albumin that the kidneys filter. A high amount of albumin is a sign that the organs are not functioning properly.
“Early detection of kidney disease is vital to slowing progression and giving patients the best possible quality of life,” said Alison Railton, head of policy and external affairs at Kidney Research UK.
“The Government and the NHS must do more to ensure that people at risk of developing chronic kidney disease are routinely tested.”