They are crucial to survival but how much do you know about your kidneys?

Communications TeamNews

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will mark World Kidney Day tomorrow (Thursday, March 8).

Taking place on the same day as International Women’s Day, this year’s event will focus on the link between kidney disease and women’s health.

To mark the global event, we’re showing what it’s like to live with kidney disease, need-to-knows about your kidneys and how to keep them healthy throughout the week.

Today, here are some facts about the kidneys and the crucial role they play in the body.

  • More than three million people in the UK are affected by kidney disease but up to one million don’t know they have the condition
  • Hull has a dedicated kidney dialysis unit at Hull Royal Infirmary with nurse-led satellite dialysis units in Bridlington, Grimsby and Scunthorpe
  • Kidney transplants for people living in East Yorkshire are performed at St James’s Hospital in Leeds.
  • Outreach clinics for kidney patients are held in Bridlington, Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Goole
  • Kidneys are fundamental organs and no human can survive without them. You normally have two kidneys although you can live with just one
  • They regulate blood pressure, keep bones strong, make red blood cells and getting rid of excess water and toxins
  • The kidneys filter around 180 litres of blood every day
  • About 195 million women around the world suffer from chronic kidney disease.
  • One in three women will develop a urinary tract infection (UTI), which can spread to their kidneys causing damage, in their lifetime and almost a third of those will have recurrent infections.
  • At this precise moment, 64,000 people in the UK are being treated for kidney failure, which can be fatal without dialysis or a kidney transplant
  • There are around 360,000 patients with chronic kidney disease in Yorkshire and the Humber
  • Around 60,000 premature deaths in the UK are thought to be linked to chronic kidney disease
  • Each kidney weighs between four to six ounces and measure about 4.5 inches
  • Russian surgeon Yury Voronoy performed the first kidney transplant on a 26-year-old woman who had swallowed mercury to kill herself after a family row in 1933. He transplanted a kidney from a 60-year-old man who died of a head injury during a six-hour operation. However, the woman died two days later
  • The first successful transplant was performed 22 years later by Dr Joseph E Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Massachussetts. Ronald Herrick donated his healthy kidney to save the life of his identical twin brother Richard, who was dying of kidney failure. Richard lived for another eight years after the transplant.