New Online Resource Helps CKD Patients Advocate for Better Care

ImPACKD and The Kidney Foundation of Canada Join Forces to Help Launch IMPACKD.ca

TORONTO, Aug. 17 /CNW/ - Before today, millions of Canadians living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) did not have a strong online advocacy presence. Improving Patient Advocacy in Chronic Kidney Disease (ImPACKD) and The Kidney Foundation of Canada are now joining forces to provide an effective resource. Together, they are launching href="www.impackd.ca">www.impackd.ca, a microsite of href="www.kidney.ca">www.kidney.ca that is specifically designed for Canadians affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD).

"ImPACKD is dedicated to helping CKD patients and their families take an active role in bringing about positive change by using their first-hand knowledge of the daily challenges and frustrations caused by CKD," explains Carroll Thorowsky, an Executive member of ImPACKD and CKD caregiver. "With the web platform support and charitable sector expertise of The Kidney Foundation, we are providing a vehicle for the CKD community affected by kidney disease to communicate with each other as well as health care professionals and government. Our goal is to improve access to the care and services we - as CKD patients and caregivers - most need."

The Kidney Foundation of Canada supports ImPACKD's goal of empowering CKD patients and their caregivers. "We are pleased to be collaborating with ImPACKD to share resources, support and information that can help improve the lives of people affected by kidney disease," says Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

With a vast provincial disparity in the way CKD patients are treated, cared for and monitored, ImPACKD first came together in November 2009 with the initial goal of advocating for equal access to optimal care for Canadians affected by chronic kidney disease. Since that time, ImPACKD has expanded its areas of focus to include proactive screening for patients at risk of developing kidney disease and increased dietary assistance for CKD patients through additional listings on nutritional labels.

"There are issues surrounding kidney disease that are not currently being actively addressed, but the development of ImPACKD.ca hosted on The Kidney Foundation of Canada's website will provide the forum needed by the CKD community to voice its concerns and raise the much needed public awareness around these issues," says Marie-Eve Chainey, an Executive member of ImPACKD, a CKD patient, and volunteer with The Kidney Foundation's Peer Support Program.

ImPACKD encourages patients to take responsibility for their health by learning about health risks, treatment options, the right questions to ask and the importance of reporting any adverse events they experience.

To find out more about ImPACKD, please visit href="www.impackd.ca">www.impackd.ca or href="www.kidney.ca/advocacy">www.kidney.ca/advocacy.

About Chronic Kidney Disease(1)

CKD is the presence of kidney damage or a decreased level of kidney function for a period of three months or more. This disease affects an estimated 2 million Canadians. Diabetes, high blood pressure, anaemia and cardiovascular disease are the most common causes of CKD. The disease is currently divided into five stages depending on the severity of the damage to the kidneys.


Stage I: Patients have more than 90 per cent kidney function
  Treatment - Identify and try to reverse the cause of decreased kidney function.
 
Stage II: Patients have 60 to 89 per cent kidney function
  Treatment - Try to stem the progression of the disease
 
Stage III: Patients have 30 to 59 per cent kidney function
  Treatment - Try to stem the progression of the disease
 
Stage IV: Patients have 15 to 29 per cent kidney function
  Treatment - Explore dialysis and transplant options
 
Stage V: Patients have less than 15 per cent kidney function
  Treatment - Dialysis or transplant required to sustain life

Not all CKD patients progress through all five stages of the disease. In patients with Stage IV kidney disease, death is a more common outcome (45.7 per cent) than dialysis (19.9 per cent)(2). In other cases, patients remain stable at Stage IV or benefit from a successful kidney transplant.

There is no cure for CKD, but it is possible to prevent or delay disease progression(3) through early detection, access to therapeutic intervention and lifestyle changes.

About ImPACKD

Improving Patient Advocacy in Chronic Kidney Disease (ImPACKD) is a group of CKD patients, caregivers, specialists and professional advocates committed to raising awareness of issues that greatly impact persons affected by kidney disease.

ImPACKD's goal is to empower patients and caregivers to be informed of all possible treatment alternatives, to have the right to access to all treatment options and to have all information regarding risks and benefits of these treatments fully explained to them(4). ImPACKD seeks to bridge the gap between CKD patients, their caregivers, families, doctors and key opinion leaders(4).

About The Kidney Foundation of Canada

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is the national volunteer organization committed to reducing the burden of kidney disease through funding and stimulating innovative research; providing education and support; promoting access to high quality healthcare; and increasing public awareness and commitment to advancing kidney health and organ donation. Since its creation in 1964, The Kidney Foundation of Canada has contributed millions of dollars to research, and to providing services to individuals living with chronic kidney disease and related conditions.

References
--------------------------
(1) The Kidney Foundation of Canada. "World Kidney Day raises awareness of screening, early detection" cr="true" href="http://www.kidney.ca/Document.Doc?id=287">http://www.kidney.ca/Document.Doc?id=287
(2) Keith et al. Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:659
(3) The Kidney Foundation of Canada. "Kidney Disease - Am I at Risk?" http://www.kidney.ca/files/Kidney/a28640_Risk_Eng.pdf (accessed on June 14, 2010).
(4) ImPACKD. "About us" cr="true" href="http://www.impackd.ca/aboutus">http://www.impackd.ca/aboutus

SOURCE IMPACKD

For further information: For further information:

about ImPACKD, or to arrange an interview with an ImPACKD
member, please contact
Prizsm Public Affairs, 289-553-2355
Alon Barmapov, abarmapov@prizsm.ca, 647-405-1352
Chelsea Philip, cphilip@prizsm.ca, 647-969-9222

Organization Profile

IMPACKD

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IMPROVING PATIENT ADVOCACY IN CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE (IMPACKD)

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