More resources continue to improve access to dialysis
Improvements at the Summerside and Charlottetown hemodialysis units will bring more resources closer to home for the growing number of Islanders living with chronic kidney disease.
Earlier this month, the Summerside Hemodialysis Unit at Prince County Hospital introduced an afternoon shift on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays that will help to treat an additional six patients. New staff have been hired and trained to support the expansion including an LPN and a dialysis support worker, as well as administrative and managerial supports.
Government is investing $740,000 this fiscal year to increase staffing, supplies and medications needed to support the increase in patient demand and need for hemodialysis treatment across the province.
“As a province, we are committed to ensuring Islanders have access to life-sustaining renal care services,” said Health and Wellness Minister Robert Mitchell. “We have an excellent Provincial Renal Program and continue to expand services to ensure that we are in-line with best practice standards and evidence-based care. We know that investments such as these will help support Islanders living with kidney disease and can make a world of difference for the patients and their families.”
In addition, planning is underway to increase the treatment capacity from 67 to 74 patients at the Charlottetown Hemodialysis Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the upcoming months to also address a growing demand in the region.
There are currently 103 Islanders receiving hemodialysis treatment, with an additional 9 Islanders on a “close watch” list for treatment. In addition to the hemodialysis service, there are 26 Islanders receiving peritoneal dialysis and 105 post-kidney transplant patients being supported through the Provincial Renal Clinic.
“We have been working closely with our staff and health care providers to grow our renal care programs and services to better support Islanders living with chronic kidney disease and kidney failure,” said Cheryl Banks, RN and director of the PEI Renal Program. “This investment ensures that the growing number of Islanders who rely on lifesaving and life-sustaining hemodialysis treatment can receive it closer to home – this is important not only to our patients, but to their families and caregivers.”
In 2016, the Souris Hemodialysis Unit underwent renovations and upgrades, increasing treatment capacity from 10 to 12 patients. The Alberton Hemodialysis Unit at Western Hospital is undergoing renovations and upgrades, which are expected to be completed in the spring.
For more information about the Provincial Renal Program, visit www.healthpei.ca/dialysis.
Senior Communications Officer
About chronic kidney disease:
Chronic kidney disease, also called chronic kidney failure, is the gradual loss of kidney function. Chronic kidney disease occurs when a disease or condition impairs kidney function, causing kidney damage to worsen over several months or years.
Risk factors for chronic kidney disease include diabetes (Type 1 or 2), high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, smoking, obesity, family history, abnormal kidney structure and age to name a few.
Of the 103 Islanders receiving hemodialysis treatment:
• 61 receive treatment at the Charlottetown Hemodialsysis Unit (QEH);
• 28 receive treatment at the Summerside Hemodialysis Unit (PCH);
• 7 at the Souris Dialysis Unit (Souris Hospital); and,
• 7 at the Alberton Dialysis Unit (Western Hospital).
Provincial Renal Program Expansion:
A series of provincial government investments have been made since 2011 to modernize and expand the Provincial Renal Program, including:
• building a new 6,000 square-foot Provincial Renal Clinical co-located with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital;
• adding an evening shift at the Charlottetown Hemodialysis Unit to address the growing need for service in this region, increasing capacity from 58 to 67 patients;
• establishing peritoneal dialysis and post-kidney transplant programs;
• purchasing new hemodialysis machines with more advanced treatment options;
• hiring dedicated staff to the Provincial Renal Program to support existing and new programs, including a pharmacist, registered nurses, a social worker, and dietitian;
• hiring a full-time nurse practitioner to the Provincial Renal Program to work in collaboration with nephrologists, assisting with patient triage and more timely access to renal clinic care;
• relocating the Provincial Renal Program offices to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital;
• renovating and upgrading the Souris Hemodialysis Unit, increasing treatment capacity from 10 to 12 patients; and,
• building new a new hemodialysis units in Charlottetown at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and in Summerside at Prince County Hospital.