US experts advise on heart and kidney disease
Doctors from a top US hospital have helped island practitioners to keep up with the latest developments in heart and kidney treatment.
The team from New York-Presbyterian Hospital held a seminar organised by the Bermuda Heart Foundation and sponsored by Colonial Insurance.
Christopher Irobunda, a cardiologist at the New York hospital, said: “It’s about bringing up to date their awareness of cardiovascular disease and its impact on society.
“That is one of the main reasons why we are here to support the Bermuda Heart Foundation and the Core Health Centre.”
Dr Irobunda said one of the main reasons for the event was to highlight advances in the identification of cardiovascular disease.
He said: “It’s about identifying these risks and educating the public. With advances in identification of risks comes the opportunity to treat.
“We have a lot of things that can be offered at New York-Presbyterian for the management of cardiovascular disease.
“In all those areas, there have been a lot of advances, both in the classic way to do it and the more recent, more minimally invasive ways to do it.”
Dr Irobunda added that his hospital was happy to work with the BHF and the Core Health Centre.
He said: “What’s exciting about us being here with Core is that it is a place that has the opportunity to identify these patients, offer them a way to follow up, and from there identify patients that have had cardiovascular disease and serve as a rehab place for them.”
Simone Barton, executive director of the BHF, said it was important to highlight heart disease prevention.
She said: “The world is affected by many diseases that are incurable, that you can’t do anything about. Heart disease is not one of them.
“One of the greatest benefits you can have in managing heart disease is getting out in front of it.
“If we can get out of disease before it happens, and we have partnerships with insurers like Colonial and experts like NYP at our side, we can prevent so many diseases from happening. We can stop heart attacks from happening.”
Devid Serur, a US kidney specialist, said his focus for the seminar was on treatment options for end-stage renal failure.
Dr Serur said: “Kidney disease often goes along with cardiovascular disease, often goes with diabetes and high blood pressure and kidney disease is on the rise.
“Because diabetes is more rampant than it used to be, hypertension is more rampant, and the population is ageing, these things combine to give you a higher rate of kidney disease.
“Some kidney patients don’t know that there are good treatments for the end stage of renal disease.”
He said advances have been made in live-donor kidney transplants to make donor recovery easier and make transplants more available.
Dr Serur said: “When you want to donate a kidney but are not compatible, we now have a kidney-pairing system where we can criss-cross pairs.
“We recently started another advance where people can donate a kidney to a loved one in advance of the loved one requiring it.
“We had a case of a grandfather who wanted to donate a kidney to his grandchild — the grandson does not require a kidney yet but he will in the future based on their kidney disease.
“The grandfather, feeling he might be too old to donate a kidney in ten years, donates a kidney now to someone else and ten years from now a voucher will be redeemed on behalf of that kid.”
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