No time limit on dialysis for Jonah Lomu

Tests will determine whether rugby star's failing transplanted organ can be revived.

Jonah Lomu. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Jonah Lomu. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Dialysis will buy Jonah Lomu as much time as needed for his kidney to be revived, or to get a re-transplant.

He's in Auckland Hospital's renal ward, with doctors reportedly saying there's a slim chance his donated kidney will survive.

Professor of Transplant Surgery at Auckland City Hospital Stephen Munn says donated kidneys don't last forever.

He says there's no time limit for a person to be on dialysis as it's the next best thing to having a fully functioning kidney.

"People who are on dialysis are not as well as people with a functioning transplant but they can certainly buy time that way.''

Professor Munn says donated kidneys don't last forever as they undergo a slow chronic form of rejection.

"Having a second transplant is not unique by any stretch of the imagination, probably 10 to 15 percent of our transplants are re-transplants.''

He says with about 600 people on the list for a kidney, the average wait time is three years, unless someone offers a live kidney transplant.

Lomu, a former left wing, was rushed to hospital just days after starring in the Rugby World Cup 2011 opening ceremony.

He was donated a kidney in 2004 by ZM radio host Grant Kereama.

- Newstalk ZB

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