Life is not just for yourself, says kidney patient David Southworth who is taking part in his second research study at Salford Royal.
It’s a simple sum for the former further education teacher – being involved in research has meant little inconvenience for him and it is helping to find new and better treatments that will one day transform patients’ lives.
He added: “If scientists had had the knowledge to do this research in previous decades, we’d now be benefitting and there would be fewer people suffering with their particular condition.”
David had to have one of his kidneys removed in his mid-30s and his remaining kidney doesn’t function as well as it should, meaning he will need treatment for the rest of his life. But he says his condition is well controlled with twice yearly visits to Salford Royal.
Over the last three years he’s been able to combine those regular appointments with taking part in the EGFRC study. This is aiming to develop a more accurate blood test for evaluating kidney function. The current test that’s used in the NHS is an estimate of how well kidneys are working but it can be affected by factors such as a patient being elderly, overweight or slightly dehydrated. The test that is being studied is looking at levels of a protein called Cystatin C in the blood as if this is too high, it could be a more accurate measure of the kidneys working inadequately.
David was happy to attend hospital for one extra visit on top of his regular appointments so that he could take part in the study and found it so straightforward that he’s now agreed to donate samples to the first kidney biobank for chronic kidney disease and nephrotic syndrome covering England, Scotland and Wales. The NURTuRE collection of patient tissue*, samples and clinical information from nearly 4,000 patients will provide a resource for researchers looking for new ways to treat and care for kidney patients.
He added: “It makes sense to me that the bigger the survey, the better the results and the less the results are distorted by freak occurrences. I had no hesitation in saying yes to this as it will help in education and research in the future.”
- This is only surplus tissue from a routine kidney biopsy already taken. There is no requirement for additional invasive procedures.