ARE YOUR kidneys okay? This is the challenge which will be made by doctors and nurses at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, on Thursday 8th March, World Kidney Day.

Healthy kidneys remove waste and toxins from our blood, so these can be excreted, along with excess water, as urine. But as many as one in ten adults have Chronic Kidney Disease which, if left untreated, could lead to loss of kidney function and the need for dialysis or a transplant. ‘Chronic’ does not indicate that the problem is severe, but that it is long-lasting, getting worse over time.

On 8th March, staff from St George’s Renal Medicine and Surgery Department will be running an information stand in the hospital’s main entrance to highlight who is most at risk of kidney problems and give advice about what to do.

As people with high blood pressure are vulnerable to kidney disease, staff will be offering an on-the-spot blood pressure test. Other groups of people who are at risk include diabetics, smokers, the severely overweight and people with a family history of kidney disease. People in these groups should have blood or urine tested annually for signs of loss of kidney function, as kidney disease can be ‘silent’, showing no symptoms. South Asians and black African Caribbeans are also at higher risk.

Renal Consultant Dr Debasish Banerjee said: “It is important that people in the ‘at risk’ groups speak to their GP about getting tested regularly. Kidney disease can show no symptoms at all or can show symptoms such as tiredness, weight loss or nausea, which occur with many other health problems.

“Once spotted, kidney disease can be treated or managed, but often people will not know they have a problem until the disease has progressed to a point where kidney function is badly impaired.”

The information stand will be open from 10am to 3pm. Dr Banerjee will be giving a half hour talk at 12pm aimed at health professionals as well as the general public. This will be repeated at 3.30pm by Dr Iain MacPhee. Please visit the information stand for details of venue.

Notes to editors

  1. For more information please contact Esther Ferguson, Communications Manager at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, on 020 8725 4521 or email
  2. St George’s Renal Medicine and Surgery Department is renowned for its expertise in diagnosing and treating kidney problems, and is a leading transplant centre. It has pioneered keyhole surgery for ‘live’ kidney donations, halving the time a donor needs to stay in hospital and reducing recovery time from three months to just six weeks. Since the first operation was carried out in 2005, 58 ‘live’ donor transplants have been done using this technique.