More patients receiving dialysis treatment at home

More dialysis patients in the Red Deer area are receiving treatment at home. A push to train more patients to perform their own dialysis started last summer after dialysis service at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre was stretched beyond its 120-patient capacity.

More dialysis patients in the Red Deer area are receiving treatment at home.

A push to train more patients to perform their own dialysis started last summer after dialysis service at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre was stretched beyond its 120-patient capacity.

“If we look back about 18 months ago, we had 10 people who were on home therapy and as of today, we have 26,” said Kerry Bales, chief zone officer for AHS Central Zone, on Wednesday.

Two more dialysis chairs were also added at the hospital last summer, bringing the total to 122. That increased dialysis capacity to 132 patients per week.

Bales said capacity can be stretched even further to 138 spaces on a temporary basis if the need approaches or exceeds 132 patients.

Currently, 124 patients receive dialysis at Red Deer hospital.

“The extra capacity that we added in the summer with the two new stations, and some of the overflow capacity as well as the expansion on the home therapy, has made a real difference to overall access in the area,” Bales said.

“Obviously, dialysis is a life-saving and a specialized service so we’re quite happy that we’ve been able to create that extra capacity. Having said that, we know that there is going to be increasing demand so we’re going to be continually planning on an ongoing basis to try to figure out how to meet that demand and implement that capacity.”

He said there is no plan to increase the number of dialysis chairs in Red Deer this year but more dialysis may be necessary in the next 18 to 24 months.

“In a place like Red Deer, we’re going to have to over time create more capacity and we’re going to probably be really looking to expand the home therapies in particular.”

Other options include adding more dialysis chairs at the hospital, providing dialysis seven days a week instead of the current six, offering dialysis 24 hours a day instead of the day and evening service now available, and the creation of a satellite dialysis office.

On Wednesday, AHS Edmonton announced its three dialysis sites were now open seven days a week to address the growing number of patients with chronic renal failure.

Flavia Robles, executive director of Northern Alberta and the Territories branch of the Kidney Foundation of Canada, said the need for dialysis continues to increase.

“In Canada, one in 15 people every day are told their kidneys have failed so this is sadly something that is growing,” Robles said.

She said it’s great that Red Deer added two chairs last summer but the rising incidence of diabetes and high blood pressure means more renal failure.

She knows of quite a few patients who are thankful they are on home dialysis.

“Those who have been on it have told me they are so glad they did it and they wouldn’t go back to the hospital for their dialysis treatment. But it isn’t for everyone.”

Robles said some people are not comfortable giving themselves a needle, the equipment requires space, and there’s the cost of electricity and water to run a dialysis machine.

Training also takes six weeks, she said.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Maskwacis RCMP arrest, charge wanted man

A Maskwacis man is facing weapons-related charges after allegedly resisting arrest. Two… Continue reading

The shelter is full: Many abused women and children in central Alberta will face a tough holiday

Alberta has one of highest domestic violence rates in the country, says a report

‘Heart of darkness:’ Closing arguments in Calgary quadruple killing trial

CALGARY — Lawyers for a pair accused in a quadruple killing say… Continue reading

Chinese ambassador warns Canada against adopting motion calling for sanctions

MONTREAL — China’s new ambassador to Canada is threatening “very firm countermeasures”… Continue reading

Liberal MP Anthony Rota upsets Regan to become Speaker in minority Parliament

OTTAWA — Liberal MP Anthony Rota has been elected Speaker of the… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Tuesday The Central Alberta Council on Aging will hold its Christmas General… Continue reading

‘Heart of darkness:’ Closing arguments in Calgary quadruple killing trial

CALGARY — Lawyers for a pair accused in a quadruple killing say… Continue reading

Milan Lucic scores first as a Flame, Calgary beats Buffalo

Flames 5 Sabres 3 CALGARY — Milan Lucic scored his first goal… Continue reading

Chinese ambassador warns Canada against adopting motion calling for sanctions

MONTREAL — China’s new ambassador to Canada is threatening “very firm countermeasures”… Continue reading

Liberal MP Anthony Rota upsets Regan to become Speaker in minority Parliament

OTTAWA — Liberal MP Anthony Rota has been elected Speaker of the… Continue reading

Supreme Court won’t hear appeal from former Nazi death squad member

Jewish groups across the country hailed the Supreme Court’s decision not to… Continue reading

Consensus comes 30 years later that Montreal massacre was an anti-feminist act

MONTREAL — Thirty years after the worst mass shooting in Canadian history,… Continue reading

Angry Alberta legislature sitting ends with cross-party fight over room booking

EDMONTON — The fall sitting of the Alberta legislature has wrapped up,… Continue reading

Most Read