This medical video is about the risks involved when transplanting kidneys.
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Jennifer Matthews: Reverend Calvin Pettigrew says his prayers have been answered. After spending just eight months on dialysis, he got a kidney transplant. Surprisingly, it also helped his heart and breathing problems. Calvin Pettigrew: The difference is tremendous. I mean it's like night and day. Jennifer Matthews: Doctors at the University of Maryland studied more than 100 transplant patients who had both kidney and congestive heart failure, patients who traditionally would never be considered for a transplant. Doctors found once those patients got a new kidney, 86 percent had a dramatic improvement in their heart's pumping action. More than half even had their heart failure reversed. Stephen Gottlieb: This study totally changed my approach to how I would deal with somebody with kidney failure and congestive heart failure. What we found in the study is a patient with hearts like this one could actually end up with totally normal function of the heart. Jennifer Matthews: Researchers say the less time a patient spends on dialysis, the better their chances of surviving. And doctors here hope to get the word out that patients with heart and kidney failure deserve a chance at a transplant. Ravinder Wali: These patients should not be left behind. These people should actually be put on a priority list. Jennifer Matthews: They say it could mean a new lease on life for thousands of patients. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.