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News Release

Mobile, Ala. (June 3, 2004)
Contact: Barbara Shaw
USA Hospitals Public Relations, (251) 471-7262

Free Kidney Health Screening Offered at USA Medical Center

University of South Alabama Gulf Coast Regional Transplant Center and the National Kidney Foundation of Alabama will conduct a free health screening for people at increased risk for kidney disease on Tuesday, June 29 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at USA Medical Center, 2451 Fillingim Street. The screening is part of the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP), a free health-screening program designed to help identify and educate individuals at increased risk for developing kidney failure. Individuals at risk include those who either have diabetes and/or hypertension or have first-degree relatives (parents, grandparents or siblings) with hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney failure.

Through early intervention, the program hopes to delay or prevent the development of chronic kidney disease. Diabetes and hypertension are the two leading causes of kidney failure.

“Many people don’t realize their kidneys are failing until it is too late,” said Dr. Velma Scantlebury, director of transplantation for the USA Gulf Coast Regional Transplant Center. “Early detection through screening and proper treatment can help them prevent kidney failure.”

KEEP screening participants will have their weight and blood pressure checked by medical professionals from the USA Gulf Coast Regional Transplant Center. Blood and urine samples will be collected from those individuals who require further testing. USA physicians will be on-site to review results with participants. All screening participants receive educational material about preventing and treating kidney disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Nutritional counseling will also be available.

“We know that if we start early with education, detection and if necessary, medical intervention, we can often postpone the onset of kidney disease or kidney failure and in some cases, even prevent it from ever developing,” says Sandra Kelley, director, Outreach & Patient Services for the National Kidney Foundation of Alabama.

More than 300,000 Americans are currently being treated for chronic renal failure, a condition that requires dialysis or a kidney transplant for patient survival. The number of individuals affected by kidney failure has been increasing by 6 to 8 percent each year.

The USA Gulf Coast Regional Transplant Center and the National Kidney Foundation of Alabama urge individuals who may be at risk to attend the free screening to learn how improving or maintaining their health and getting proper medical attention may prevent or delay the onset of kidney disease.

KEEP is funded through an educational grant from Ortho Biotech. Additional sponsors include Bayer Diagnostics, Satellite Laboratory Services and OceanSpray. Registration will be limited to 100 participants. To register for the free screening, contact the USA Gulf Coast Regional Transplant Center at (251) 471-7391.

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Last date changed: October 29, 2004 11:31 AM