|A patient with kidney failure is treated at Hanoi's Viet Duc Hospital. — Photo nld.com.vn
A 19-year-old female patient from central Nghe An Province has been undergoing dialysis for five years.
Her relatives said she started feeling tired and losing weight when she was in 9th grade.
One day, she fainted in class and was hospitalised. Her family was shocked when the doctors said she would have to undergo dialysis for the rest of her life, Người Lao Động (The Labourer) newspaper reported.
Recently, she was taken to Viet Duc Hospital in Hanoi for a checkup because she had been suffering from a fever for several days.
The doctor said she needed a kidney transplant because she had a large tumour.
In recent years the number of cases of kidney failure has been increasing among young people, and has been complicated by metabolic diseases such as diabetes and gout.
Obesity can also damage kidney function before diabetes and hypertension develop.
These two diseases have negative effects on the kidney and are the main cause of kidney disease, so the prevention of diabetes and hypertension is very important, doctors said.
Doctor Nguyen Huu Dung, head of the Department of Artificial Nephrology at Bach Mai Hospital, said the hospital regularly admitted young patients aged from 24.
Even students have been treated for haemodialysis in recent years.
Most patients only go to hospital for a check-up when things get bad, but by that point they are at end-stage chronic kidney failure.
Many people still think that diabetes and high blood pressure only attack the elderly, but in fact these two diseases are increasing among young people aged 24-25, according to Dr Nguyen The Cuong, head of the Nephrology and Dialysis Department at Viet Duc Hospital.
It is estimated there are five million people suffering from kidney disease in Vietnam, and there are more than 8,000 new cases every year.
The number of patients with end-stage renal failure requiring dialysis is about 800,000.
The hospital's Kidney Dialysis Department alone is treating more than 700 patients following their kidney transplants.
One of the causes we often encounter is people using herbal medicine voluntarily which affects kidney function.
Many people suffered kidney failure due to arbitrary drug use and the habit of eating salty food, doctors said.
"The alarming fact we have to face is that many patients are hospitalised in serious conditions. But instead of going to a medical facility for treatment, patients use drugs after searching for a cure on the internet," Dr Cuong said.
To prevent kidney failure, it is necessary to drink enough water every day and have a reasonable diet.
People also needed to reduce salt intake - a factor that promotes high blood pressure and other metabolic diseases, according to doctors.
Chronic kidney failure cannot be cured, but treatment could help slow disease progression, improve symptoms and limit complications, they said.
"It is important to detect the disease early in high-risk subjects, especially people with diabetes and hypertension or with family histories of kidney disease. These people need to have periodic tests every year so we can actively treat them early to avoid progression of kidney disease," Dr Dung recommended. VNS
Many hospitals around the world, including Vietnam's, give priority to removing kidney stones through the skin telescopically because of more dominant advantages compared to open surgeries.
The General Hospital of Hue successfully performed a kidney transplant for a female patient.