Reflections on World Kidney Day 2018 – a personal perspective

Becky Bonfield is the acute kidney injury lead advanced nurse practitioner at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. Here she writes about being part of the team who ran a World Kidney day study event this year.

World Kidney Day is a global awareness campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of kidneys, and the 2018 theme was women’s health and kidneys as the date also fell on International Women’s Day. At University Hospital Southampton we hosted a study event that was open to staff at our Trust, as well as staff from our local area (include primary and secondary care), and members of the general public. With the focus on women’s health the theme we chose was renal issues that are more prominent in women, such as fertility issues and recurrent urinary tract infections that cause kidney stones.

As the Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) Advanced Nurse Practitioner I have a background in critical care and general medicine and whilst my knowledge of disorders that cause/ contribute to AKI is very good I was unaware of some of the complications that are associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD)

We were very fortunate to have some fantastic speakers: Dr Kate Wiles (obstetric physician and nephrologist, Kings College London) spoke about getting pregnant or not….the challenges faced by patients with long term kidney disease when they are trying to get pregnant. For me this was really interesting as I had not considered the fertility issues around CKD and that with the advances in home haemodialysis could impact on improving patients’ fertility.

Charlie Webster, Sky sports presenter, spoke about her experience of AKI after her Race to Rio cycle challenge in 2016 that saw her cycle from London to Rio for the 2016 Olympics. This was alongside Nicole McKenzie, who spoke about her experience of having a renal transplant and taking part in the transplant games.  Both of these women were inspirational when they spoke, and many of the audience (including myself) had a tear in their eye when Charlie spoke of how she felt when she was back home and recovering.

We were also delighted to have Professor Bhaskar Somani who spoke about the management of UTI and pyelonephritis in female patients and emphasised the importance of healthcare professionals ensuring they stay well hydrated.

The event was attended by over 170 delegates and the feedback was overwhelming positive with 90% of the delegates stating they would like to attend a future event. If you would like to see the sessions from the event please follow the link below.

Running an event of this size is a real team effort and we all work really hard to ensure that the delegates have a great time and get people talking about kidneys.

The team are currently finalising the agenda for the 2019 World Kidney Day event, which will space for up to 400 delegates will be even bigger. The theme for 2019 is kidney health for everyone, everywhere. If you would like to have more information about this then please feel free to email us or you can book your place on Eventbrite.

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