by Chinwe Okafor
Nigerian music producer and singer, Babatunde Okungbowa popularly known as OJB is reportedly on admission at the General Hospital, Lagos following a relapse of his kidney ailment.
OJB, who had a successful kidney transplant in India donated to him by his first wife last year apparently had a relapse two weeks ago, according to a report by Yes! International magazine.
The magazine said a source at the hospital said, “The medical experts who attended to OJB at the Lagos Hospital were shocked at the sudden relapse despite last year’s successful kidney transplant. They chided him for not going back to India for post-surgery check-ups as specified by the team of Indian doctors in the medical report given to him”.
Everyone talks about the success rates of kidney transplants. Rarely do we talk about what happens when transplants fail. People will quote the official statistics that 97% of kidney transplants are working at the end of a month; 93% are working at the end of a year; and 83% are working at the end of 3 years. But there is that 7% of cases that result to failure in transplants.
There are many reasons why a kidney transplant can fail:
- Clot: This is usually when the blood vessels to the transplanted kidney clot, so the kidney has no blood flow. This seems most likely to happen shortly after the surgery.
- Fluid collection: If there is fluid collection around the kidney, there can be damage to the kidney from the pressure if it is not treated.
- Infection: Having an infection in the kidney can cause permanent problems with the kidney, especially if it is not found and treated early.
- Side effect of medicines: Some medicines can be harmful to kidneys.
- Donor kidney problems: Transplant surgeons will only offer you a kidney that they believe will work, but sometimes there are problems with the donor kidney that are not expected and the kidney never works well. If the kidney never works well, it is not likely to last long.
- Non Adherence (aka non-compliance): Some people stop taking their anti-rejection medicines or miss doses. The anti-rejection medicine prevents your body from recognizing the kidney as a “foreign object.” Without enough of the medicine in your blood, your body “sees” the kidney and begins to attack it. Eventually you will damage enough of your kidney that you have to go back on dialysis. Non-Adherence can also cause problems if a person misses their appointments, lab tests, or other treatments.
- Recurrent Disease: Although it is not very common, it is possible for the disease that damaged your original kidneys to come back and damage the transplanted kidney.
- Chronic Rejection: This is the most common reason that kidney transplants fail. It is the long term damage done by the body’s immune system for a lot of different reasons.
As a dialysis patient you were trained to avoid extra fluid. When you have a functioning kidney, restricting fluid can lead to dehydration. During summer months it is especially important to drink plenty of fluids because the water loss from heat/perspiration can cause dehydration and your creatinine to rise.
- Urine Leak