Bajans keen kidney donorsDr Peter Adams (left) and Dr Joseph Herbert discussing the kidney research results. (Lennox Devonish)
Sat, July 21, 2012 - 12:03 AM
RESEARCH HAS SHOWN that Barbadians are more willing to become kidney donors than their West Indian counterparts abroad.
Dr Peter Adams told the SATURDAY SUN yesterday at the 12th annual Professor E. R. Walrond Scientific Symposium in the auditorium of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) this was significant as kidney transplants were more cost-effective and less detrimental to the patient in the long run.
“Kidney disease is a big problem and one of the reasons why is because we have a lot of diabetic patients [here]. Such patients are prone to kidney problems and may end up with end-stage renal failure when your kidneys need help to work properly,” Adams said.
“Dialysis is one way to treat this but cost is very high and expected to increase [as the] number of diabetics increase. The alternative is a kidney transplant . . . which is cost effective and gives a better quality of life.”
Standard of care
Adams, a family physician and deputy dean of the Cave Hill Faculty of Medical Sciences, said they found black people in particular, who generally had a greater need for kidney transplants, were reluctant to donate the organ, so they decided to conduct a survey in Barbados and compare it to those done in the United States and Britain.
Resident trainee Dr Joseph Herbert said the survey showed Barbadians were more willing to donate after death, adding it may be due to the migrants not seeing themselves as part of their adopted community.
The major concern the doctors said locals had was whether they would receive the same standard of care if the doctors knew their organs were to be harvested upon death. They said this was due to the fact Barbadians were not as aware of organ harvesting as their First World counterparts.
Surgeon Dr Margaret O’Shea said the research findings were especially encouraging to her as they were trying to pursue the kidney transplant programme in Barbados.
However, she said it would require legislation which was being looked into. (CA)
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