Last Updated on Saturday, 9 July 2016, 22:33 by Denis Chabrol
The Nephrology Department of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) is now equipped to provide better care to patients with kidney disease, reported the Government Information Agency (GINA).
The department received eight dialysis machines from the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension of the University of Vermont’s Medical School today.
The machines were handed over to the GPHC by Dr. J.R. Deep Ford, a former professor of the Vermont Medical School. Dialysis machines are used to treat patients diagnosed with stage five kidney disease also known as an ‘end stage’ kidney disease.
Stage five kidney disease can be described as the condition where 80 to 90 percent of a person’s kidney is no longer functional. This causes a buildup of toxins in the body resulting in those affected falling ill. The dialysis machine utilises a catheter which is inserted either at the neck or at the groin area of the patient. The blood is filtered through the machine and restored to the body. The machine functions as a replacement for the kidney.
The Dialysis Center has been in operation for four years and offers both Peritoneal and Haemodialysis. Currently, 25 patients are receiving Peritoneal Dialysis and 22 patients are receiving haemodialysis at the centre.
The centre has two specialists in peritoneal dialysis and three registered nurses along with four nursing Assistants administering Haemodialysis.
Head of the Nephrology Department, Dr. Kishore Persaud who is also a transplant surgeon explained that, “… these patients require approximately three to four sessions per week. With two to three functioning dialysis machines we are unable to effectively dialyse all these patients on a weekly basis, so we have expanded the centre and with the contribution of more dialysis machines we will now be able effectively dialyse all patients admitted to the Georgetown Hospital.”
Dr. Persaud pointed out that, although the centre has seen new additions, there is now need for more staff to accommodate the growing number of patients who will seek treatment.
Minister of Public Health Dr. George Norton was present at the handing over ceremony of the machines and expressed gratitude for the generous donation. He stressed the need for specialisation in the nephrology sector. Minister Norton advised that nurses and registered nurses should seek to further qualify themselves so as to have a greater number of specialists administering care to persons who have been diagnosed with end stage kidney disease.
“The GPHC Dialysis Centre continues to provide this life-saving procedure free of cost. However, there still exists a need to further build the capacity of the centre, and the Ministry of Public Health is committed to ensuring that this is done. We cannot do this alone, and therefore we are grateful for the support of the University of Vermont’s Medical School,” he stated.
At the end of July, GPHC’s Nephrology department will begin to treat the targeted number of diagnosed staged five kidney disease patients.
Two other dialysis machines were also handed over to St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital.