Coming of age in treating kidney failure

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Coming of age in treating kidney failure

  • start date 07 Apr 2018
  • end date 07 Apr 2018
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Who shares 7 April?

This is the day that NKF was formally inaugurated. It is a special day because it is also World Health Day, which marks the founding of the World Health Organisation. It is celebrated on 7 April annually covering a specific health topic of concern to people worldwide.


Bright idea!

Recognition of kidney disease is widely attributed to Dr Richard Bright and “Bright’s disease” was used to refer to any type of kidney disease. His findings led to the practice of testing urine for protein — one of the first diagnostic tests in medicine.


Father of dialysis

Dr Willem Kolff is considered the father of dialysis. This young Dutch physician constructed the first dialyser (artificial kidney) in 1943, which is one of the foremost life-saving developments in the history of modern medicine.


The Scribner Shunt

Dr Belding Scribner came up with this shunt of connecting the patient to the dialyser using plastic tubes, one inserted into an artery and one into a vein. It was the first step to improved methods of access to the circulatory system, enabling dialysis patients to survive longer periods.


Founder of NKF – Professor Khoo Oon Teik

In the 1960s, about 200 kidney failure sufferers were dying every year because they could not afford dialysis, which was costly. Prof Khoo learnt about setting up dialysis facilities overseas and brought the knowledge back to Singapore. This led to thousands of lives being saved since then.