PHOENIX magazine: First of all, what do the kidneys do and how are they affected by chronic kidney disease?
Steve Williamson: It’s important to understand how the kidneys function, and the truth is that a lot of people aren’t familiar with their role in the body. Your kidneys’ main job is to filter fluid and waste from the bloodstream. When they’re diseased, they can’t clean your blood efficiently and you can end up with serious blood-related issues and end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). About 37 million people in the U.S. have kidney disease – that’s about 1 in 7 Americans. And out of all those people, approximately 90% of them don’t know they have it.
PM: How is end-stage kidney disease typically treated?
SW: Dialysis is the leading treatment option for ESKD. This life-saving treatment involves hooking a patient up to a machine that takes the blood out through a catheter or fistula, cleans it, and puts it back into the body. It basically does the kidneys’ job but requires patients to spend around four hours connected to the machine a few days a week, which is obviously inconvenient for someone wanting to get the most out of life.
PM: How is BD changing the standard of care and the future of treatment options for people with kidney disease?
SW: BD is all about advancing the world of health and changing the healthcare industry with new innovation and technology. We want to be able to reduce treatment costs, raise awareness of this disease, and give patients options when it comes to how they can manage kidney disease.
Recently, we’ve introduced a couple of amazing products that provide more treatment options for people with kidney disease. The WavelinQ™ EndoAVF System is our endovascular fistula creation tool which allows doctors to connect an artery and a vein through a small incision, providing another option than having to perform open surgery. The Lutonix® drug-coated balloon catheter helps to maintain blood flow in the veins for dialysis access. These are innovative options for patients that emphasize quality of life and quality of care.
At BD, we work with doctors and patients to determine what needs to improve in the world of kidney disease treatment. We have a partnership with the National Kidney Foundation that focuses on awareness and disease management. We also participate in a “Kidney Camp” for kids who have been diagnosed, and they’re able to get the care they need and still be able to have fun at a camp.
We are passionate about getting people the best treatment without having to sacrifice their quality of life as much as possible. If you have been diagnosed with kidney disease, follow your physician’s instructions for care and explore your options. BD is constantly working on innovative technologies to make your treatment of kidney disease easier, more comfortable and more successful.
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