Kamal Shah

Kamal Shah

Hello, I'm Kamal from Hyderabad, India. I have been on dialysis for the last 13 years, six of them on PD, the rest on hemo. I have been on daily nocturnal home hemodialysis for the last four and half years. I can do pretty much everything myself. I love to travel and do short weekend trips or longer trips to places which have dialysis centers. Goa in India is a personal favorite. It is a great holiday destination and has two very good dialysis centers.

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The Karnataka government, in association with the Institute of Nephro Urology at Victoria Hospital, Bengaluru is starting a 1 year pilot project where 25 patients would be put on Peritoneal Dialysis. The budget is Rs. 35 lakhs. The patients would bear only 35% of the costs and the government would bear the rest. You can read the article where I learnt about this here.

This is a great step forward for PD in India.

Peritoneal Dialysis is an excellent therapy. In my opinion, it offers a much better quality of life compared to traditional in-center hemodialysis. It requires much fewer diet and fluid restrictions and can be very easily done at home. However, despite all this, a very small fraction of patients are on this therapy.

For patients that stay far away from a hospital or a dialysis center, PD is often the only option. PD is slightly more expensive than HD and the patient is responsible for his health to a large extent.

This pilot project is a great initiative simply because this is probably the first time any government is doing anything to promote and support this therapy.

Dr. G K Venkatesh, the institute's director deserves many congratulations!

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2012/02/karnataka-government-is-doing-pilot.html

Sunday, 05 February 2012 04:23

NephroPlus launching Dialysis Academy

"How would you treat someone who gets cramps during dialysis?", I asked the twenty-something technician (with about three years of experience in dialysis) across the table. I was interviewing him for the post of a dialysis technician for a NephroPlus center.

Cramps are a very commonly faced symptom on dialysis. It happens when fluid is either removed at too fast a rate or if fluid is removed even after the dry weight has been reached. Cramps can also occur if the sodium level falls too low. Any technician or nurse who has spent even a few days at a dialysis center would know that cramps has to be treated by stopping the UF and possibly infusing some saline to compensate for the excess fluid removed.

"Ummm....", he hesitated. "Haven't you come across a patient who had cramps?", I asked him. He nodded his head. "Then what would you do?", I pestered.

"We will infuse some bleach", he blurted!

"Bleach?", I couldn't believe I had heard that! I instantly thanked my stars that I never dialyzed at a unit where this guy was there. If bleach was infused, the patient would be dead!

I rejected him immediately.

This is only one of many such incidents I can recount from my interviews with dialysis technicians and nurses. The level of knowledge is so pathetic that I shudder to think how these people are manning dialysis units across the country where so many lives are at stake. We go to these units trusting these people completely. We surrender our lives to them without a question. The question is - do these people deserve our trust?

At NephroPlus, Vikram, Sandeep and I grimly discussed the scenario. The simple truth was this - good talent is just not available. How then will we expand as planned? How can we run our units without qualified and trained nurses and technicians? One thing was sure - we would not let thesepeople anywhere close to our units!

We would have to train and ready people ourselves. This was the only solution.

We just released an ad this morning inviting applications to a two year diploma course which will include an examination from a very reputed certification agency for dialysis technicians and nurses from the US. I am personally heading this initiative. This will be one of my main focus areas at NephroPlus.

The details of the program can be found here.

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2012/02/nephroplus-launching-dialysis-academy.html

Friday, 03 February 2012 21:52

Mani Shankar Aiyar did the right thing

The Congress party is upset with Mani Shankar Aiyar for participating in a debate on a Pakistan television channel where Maulana Masood Azhar, India's most wanted terrorist also participated. The thinking is that he should not have shared a platform with Azhar.

I do not think so.

I saw some footage from the program and felt Aiyar did a good job. He said rightly that Azhar should be arrested and brought before a court of terrorism. Azhar was quite agitated with Aiyar's statement.

What is wrong with this? Aiyar gave him as good as it gets! No one probably has ever spoken to him like that! There is no point in shying away from these things and taking the high moral ground. This was a good opportunity to talk. Azhar wasn't even in the TV studio. He was participating over a call.

Great job Mani Shankar Aiyar!

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2012/02/mani-shankar-aiyar-did-right-thing.html

Thursday, 02 February 2012 22:07

A welcome fatwa

A group of Muslim religious leaders issued a fatwa yesterday that Muslims must not indulge in loud music and other activities that disturb or cause inconvenience to others on the occasion of Milad - un - nabi that falls on Sunday, the 5th of February. They also said that even reading the Quran in a manner that disturbs others is against the tenets of Islam.

This is a very welcome step. All religions should follow this principle. Do whatever you want when it comes to religion. But it should always be without disturbing others.

I strongly believe that religion is an intensely personal thing and it should be more in the mind rather than on display. Many religions, including my own, these days have become so far removed form the initial sets of teachings that it is very difficult to recognize the original forms!

The blatant use of loudspeakers is a curse afflicting all religions today. Many people who are disturbed by this noise actually curse the religions and their followers when such things happen. This is not at all desirable. And to top it all, the followers of one religion start indulging in competitive nuisance creation. "You spoilt my sleep during your festival, so I will spoil your sleep during mine!"

So, amidst all this, this fatwa is a great step and shows some very mature thinking on the part of these leaders.

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2012/02/welcome-fatwa.html

Tuesday, 31 January 2012 21:49

Say Hello Kidney !

We at NephroPlus are launching Hello Kidney today, a free helpline where you can call to check on any kidney related issue. If you want to check about some symptoms that you suspect are related to the kidney or you are on dialysis and want to find out more about transplants, call Hello Kidney!


The call will be answered by trained doctors and not some giggly, nice-sounding girls who have no clue whether humans generally have one kidney or two!

So, now if its a kidney problem, help is just a call away!

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2012/02/say-hello-kidney.html

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