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Kidney Failure​

Kidney Matters

Statement: Kidney stones can increase the risk of kidney failure.

You are Wrong, the answer is True!

Kidney stones occur when mineral salts crystallise in the kidneys. Tiny crystals pass out of the body in our urine but the larger stones can cause a back-up of urine in the kidneys, ureter and the bladder, causing pain. Hence are very seldom left untreated till its deterioration to kidney failure.
There is also the likely occurrence of “silent” stones, which cause no pain and symptoms.

They are often left untreated for long months to years, occasionally leading to kidney damage.

Untreated kidney stones might indeed increase the risk of kidney failure, causing blockage in blood urine flow. This can eventually result in a dilated kidney with minimal function.

The percentage of kidney failure related to kidney stone is small compared to diabetes and hypertension. 
One in 10 people will develop kidney stones at some stage of their lives.

Prevention Tips

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Reduce sodium intake because it can trigger formation of kidney stones and increases the amount of calcium in your urine.
  • Cut down on animal protein, such as red meat, poultry and eggs as it boosts the level of uric acid and could lead to kidney stones.

Statement: Back pain is a symptom of kidney failure.

You are Wrong, the answer is True!

Back pain is not usually a symptom of kidney disease. When kidneys become distended due to a blockage of the flow of urine or becomes infected, it may cause pain. Severe pain may also occur with the presence of kidney stones, especially when the stones move down the ureter. Other causes of back pain also include muscle pain or diseases of the spine.

The term kidney disease does not equate to kidney failure. We say kidney failure only when the functions of the kidneys are compromised and are unable to maintain normal composition of the body fluids which will most likely result in the accumulation of toxins in the body.

Symptoms of kidney failure can vary between different people. Do look for other symptoms such as:

  • Decreased urination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swollen hands and ankles
  • Puffiness around the eyes
  • Itching
  • Sleep disturbances
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite
Statement: I have been taking statins for high cholesterol faithfully for several years, so I can eat whatever I want.

You are Wrong, the answer is True!

Taking statins (medication that blocks the action of an enzyme in the liver that helps produce cholesterol) does not mean that you can ignore your doctor’s advice about following a low-cholesterol diet.

There are people who have the misconception that their medication will undo any cholesterol overload, regardless of what they eat. Even while you are on medication, it is important that you watch your diet, especially saturated fat.

Statement: You definitely need dialysis if you have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

You are Wrong, the answer is True!

Not everyone with CKD needs dialysis. CKD is a general term to describe a wide range of kidney abnormalities and can occur without kidney failure. CKD is a progressive disease.

In its early stages, it is usually managed with diet and medication. With this approach, most people can slow or stop the progression of kidney disease and enjoy a normal lifestyle. That is why, it is important to detect and treat kidney disease early. Dialysis or a kidney transplant is only needed at CKD 5.

Statement: There are tests for early detection of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and kidney failure.

You are Wrong, the answer is True!

There are tests and procedures for kidney disease diagnosis. The tests include:

  • Serum Creatinine which is one of the key indicators to determining how well the kidneys are functioning.
  • Urine Analysis to find out how much albumin (a type of protein) is in the urine as an excessive amount of protein is an early sign of kidney damage.

Kidney disease is a progressive disease and there are five CKD stages. The estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) will determine which stage of kidney disease the person is at. You may require additional blood tests and screening depending on your condition.

In its early stages, kidney disease is usually managed with diet and medication. With this approach, most people can slow or stop the progression of kidney disease and enjoy a normal lifestyle.

Those with medical or family history of diabetes, cardio-vascular disease including hypertension, stroke, obesity or kidney disease are at higher risk of kidney failure. Hence, it is important for one to go for regular health screenings and to consult one’s general practitioner or healthcare provider who will be able to advise on the necessary course of action where needed.

Statement: A kidney transplant is better than dialysis.

You are Wrong, the answer is True!

A kidney transplant offers the best long-term odds of survival and quality of life. It is the best option of treatment to kidney failure. The transplanted kidney can substitute almost fully the lost functions of the failed kidneys and it usually begins to function right away, thus allowing the patient to lead a normal life. With a new lease of life, the patient no longer faces day-to-day restrictions due to having to undergo dialysis for the rest of his or her life.

Statement: Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and kidney failure are the same thing.

You are Wrong, the answer is True!

“Kidney disease” does not equate to “kidney failure”. “Kidney disease” is a general term used to describe different types of diseases related to the kidneys. Chronic kidney disease is a progressive disease. Most patients with chronic kidney disease can manage their condition and lead normal lives through adhering to their doctor’s advice regarding diet and medication. Hence, not all patients with kidney disease need to go for dialysis.

However, if you have kidney failure, also known as End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), means that your kidneys are functioning at 15% of its capacity or less. Your kidneys are unable to maintain the normal composition of body fluids, resulting in the accumulation of toxins in the body.
At this stage, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant for survival. This also highlights how crucial it is to identify the early warning signs of kidney disease and take steps to protect your kidneys.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of kidney failure. That is because it can damage the arteries leading to your kidneys and the tiny blood vessels (glomeruli) within the kidneys. Damage to either makes it so your kidneys cannot effectively filter wastes from your blood. As a result, dangerous levels of fluid and waste can accumulate and cause kidney failure.

Statement: Obesity can lead to kidney failure.

You are Wrong, the answer is True!

Obesity leads to diabetes and high blood pressure, among other chronic diseases, both of which are the two leading causes of kidney failure. Causes of obesity include poor dietary choices, lack of exercise, a family history of being overweight or obese and negative emotions like boredom sadness, or anger, which may influence eating habits.

Some ways to watch your weight:

  • Brisk walk for at 30 minutes each time, 2.5 hours per week.
  • Jog or swim three times a week.
  • Keep a food diary of everything you eat.
  • Make a shopping list before going grocery shopping to reduce impulse buys and do not shop when you are hungry.
  • Grill, bake or steam instead of deep-frying
  • Use healthier cooking oils like canola, sunflower or peanut.
  • You may speak to your healthcare provider to help you plan your diet, exercise and behaviour modification.
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General Enquiries

As there are limited car park lots available at NKF Centre visitors may need to park at the nearby HDB car parks in the vicinity.

NKF HQ Mondays –Thursdays
PH / Weekends
8.30am –6.00pm
8.30am –5.00pm
Dialysis Centres Mondays –Saturdays
7.00am –11.00pm
7.00am –11.00pm

We are open on most public holidays except for the 1st day of Chinese New Year.

NKF does not provide ad hoc dialysis treatment. Our patients are on long-term dialysis treatment. You may wish to check with private dialysis centres for ad hoc dialysis treatments.

NKF does not have an outpatient clinic and hence, we are unable to arrange an appointment for members of the public. You may wish to contact a hospital of your choice for outpatient service.

Currently, NKF does not provide health report interpretation service. You may consult your General Practitioner who will be able to assist you.

Someone with kidney failure may not experience any signs and symptoms until it is too late. It is best to do a routine health screening to understand your health status better and detect any abnormalities as early as possible so that you can delay and manage the disease progression.

To know about the signs and symptoms please click here to learn more.

Decreased urination Swollen hands and ankles Sleep disturbances
Blood in the urine (tea-coloured or fresh blood) Puffiness around the eyes High blood pressure
Nausea and vomiting Itching Loss of appetite

All dialysis centres operate on 3 dialysis shifts –morning, noon and evening.

Morning Noon Evening
7.00am –12.00pm 12.00pm – 6.00pm 6.00pm –11.00pm
Timing of your dialysis schedule may vary for each dialysis centres.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday (1,3,5) OR Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (2,4,6)


Our Admissions Counsellor will contact you once your application is finalised. They will be in contact with you soon.

From the day we receive the application form, it will take approximately 3 working days to a week for us to get back to you if you have submitted all completed supporting documents together with your application form to us. Generally, the whole process will take 6 months for the approval.

The overall application review process will take approximately 6 months before the applicant can start the first dialysis treatment. However, if the applicant is able to provide all completed supporting documents and if there is a slot available at the dialysis centre with a right match to the time slot, the waiting time could be shorter.

Currently, we do not have status checking service online. NKF Admissions Counsellor will be in contact with the applicants regarding the status.

You may pick it up from the NKF main office at 81 Kim Keat Road, Singapore 328836 or call us at 6506 2187 to have the forms sent to you.

Means Test is used to determine the amount of subsidies each person needing care is eligible for. Persons from lower income households will be granted higher subsidies under the means test framework.

Means Test subsidies calculation is based in accordance to MOH guidelines.

Our NKF Admissions Counsellor in-charge will contact you in regards to your means test status.

The Medical Social Workers at your hospital will be able to advise you on the different type of subsidies based on your financial situation.

Kidney Live Donor Support Fund

For information on kidney donation in Singapore, you may wish to contact the National Organ Transplant Unit at Tel: 6321 4390 or email

NKF’s Kidney Live Donor Support Fund covers annual health screenings and medical follow-ups; one-time reimbursement for loss of 2 months actual income of $8,500, whichever is lower: reimbursement of hospitalisation and surgical insurance premiums (capped at MediShield Life premiums); pre-transplant screening and evaluation costs for up to 2 potential donors per kidney recipient; and insurance coverage for Group Living. Policy based on sum insured of $200,000.

For more information and eligibility, please click here. 

Donation & Volunteering

You can make the donation through different platforms:

  1. For online donation: please visit
  2. Or you may like to issue a cheque made payable to “The National Kidney Foundation” or “NKF” and mail it to us at 81 Kim Keat Road, Singapore 328836.
  3. Alternatively, you may contact us at 1800-KIDNEYS (5436397) or email us at to send you the donation form.
  4. Road Singapore 328836.

Thank you for your generosity. The cheque should be issued to “The National Kidney Foundation” or “NKF”.

Thank you for bequeathing your CPF contributions to NKF. You can fill up the CPF nomination form which can be downloaded from the CPF website. NKF’s UEN is 200104750M.

Thank you for your generosity. You may like to visit the Ministry of Law’s website where you can find a list of lawyers based in Singapore. Please visit

Our UEN/ Company Registration No. / GST Registration No. is 200104750M.

Please send us an email at or call us at 1800-KIDNEYS (5436397) and we will assist you accordingly.

You may email your new mailing address to , Please include your full name, contact number, old mailing address and UEN or NRIC/FIN (last 3 digits)

You may email us at to get the donation form. Please fill up your new GIRO/credit card number, donation amount and sign the form. Thereafter, post the GIRO form back to NKF for processing.

For credit card, you may wish to scan the form and send it to NKF via either of these options:

Email –

Fax – 6253 0417

Mail – 81 Kim Keat Road, Singapore 328836

Please email us at with your full name, UEN/NRIC/FIN and mailing address.

Please email us at to have the termination form sent to you. Please fill it up and send it back to us for processing and auditing purposes.

All outright cash donations to NKF are entitled to tax deduction because NKF is a registered charity with an IPC (Institutions of Public Character) status. We are able to issue tax deductible receipts for qualifying donations to our donors.

You are entitled to a tax deduction of 2.5 times the value of your donation in the preceding year.

You may sign up via our website at

If you do not have access to the internet, please call us at 1800-KIDNEYS (5436397) to have the application form sent to you. Please fill it up and send it back to us at 81 Kim Keat Road Singapore 328836.

Once we receive your application, our colleague from the Donor and Volunteer Management Department will contact you for a phone interview. After which, you will be invited to attend our volunteer orientation. This is to allow you to have a better understanding of the volunteering activities.

The minimum age is 13 years old. For volunteers who are below the age of 21, you will need to get parental consent. You may download the consent form here.

We strongly encourage our volunteers to commit at least a year so that we can better support our patients. Our programmes and activities are flexible, you can choose your volunteering schedule according to your interest and availability.

You may volunteer with us basing on your availability. We will send a weekly email to our volunteers indicating the up-coming volunteering opportunities. You can then match your availability to the activity schedule.

We have an array of volunteering activities to suit your interest and availability. To learn more about the volunteering activities we offer, please visit

Anyone and everyone can join us as a volunteer. All applicants will be required to undergo a mandatory orientation session where you will gain insights into the Foundation’s cause, kidney disease as well as learn more about the volunteering activities we offer. Regular trainings are also conducted for all volunteers so that they can better perform their role.

Most definitely! We welcome schools, companies and community groups to volunteer with us as part of their Values In Action and Corporate Social Responsibility activities. Please get in touch with us on your interest by sending an email to

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