Free kidney screenings at medical center

The Winchester Medical Center is hosting an event Thursday to inform the community of risk factors, prevention, early detection and treatment of kidney disease.

A free World Kidney Day event will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday in the Winchester Medical Center Conference Center. World Kidney Day is an initiative of the International Society of Nephrology and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations.

Valley Health staff will talk with attendees, share information, offer body fat analysis, medication review with a pharmacist, and offer healthy snack samples from a dietician. Free kidney screenings, blood and urine tests will be offered all day on a first come, first serve basis and is limited to 200 people. Light refreshments and a photo booth will be on site as well.

Jennifer Lutz, clinical nurse manager of renal services at Winchester Medical Center, said they have hosted this event for the last seven years with a steady attendance of about 150 community members.

According to a Valley Health news release, chronic kidney disease is referred to as a silent disease because early symptoms often go unnoticed. Chronic kidney disease takes time to develop, which is why early screening is important to detect kidney disease before it progresses. There is no cure for kidney failure.

Lutz added that one in 10 people in the United States suffer from kidney disease.

“You don’t really see any effects of it,” she said. “So it definitely is a high risk chronic disease process. It hasn’t gotten a lot of light in the past years because a lot of people don’t know they have it until it’s too far gone.”

The release adds that high blood pressure, diabetes and being overweight are the main causes of chronic kidney disease, which can lead to kidney failure, and increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Other risk factors include smoking, being over 50 years old, family history and the presence of any other kidney disease.

For more information about the World Kidney Day awareness and education event, call 540-536-4651. This event is made possible locally by support from the Winchester Medical Center Foundation.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com