Home dialysis improves care for kidney patients

| 04/02/2014

(CNS): With a more than 400% increase in the number of people in the Cayman Islands requiring dialysis over the last fifteen years because of kidney disease the George Town hospital is offering some of those patients an in home service. The opening of the new dialysis unit at the hospital recently has already provided significant improvements for some patients. But the opening of the unit also signalled the start of a new home-based dialysis programme which has led to more flexibility dialysis treatments and an overall better quality of life for patientsable to use this service. HSA Internist and Nephrologist, Dr Nelson Iheonunekwu (left) explained that the portable units offer patients the chance to take control of their treatment, giving them far greater flexibility and independence.

“The home-based dialysis programme takes the form of continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis and automated peritoneal dialysis,” he said. “When they participate in the home-based programme they do not need to then visit the Dialysis Unit at Cayman Islands Hospital three times a week for their treatment.”

He added that patients who are able to take control of their dialysis do well on the home-based programme.

“Patients are trained in how to administer their own dialysis treatments and many undertake their exchanges in the comfort of their own bedroom.  Additionally, the home-based unit is portable, making it convenient for the patient. Prior to doing their dialysis treatment, patients are instructed to follow the necessary hygiene procedures; the actual exchange takes about 20 minutes. Some patients have to undertake their dialysis every four hours, some every six. The flexibility with the home-based programme means that patients are often able to go to work and live a more normal life,” the Doctor explained, adding that studies have shown that there is very little difference in life expectancy of patients who undertake the home-based dialysis and those at hospital.

Lizzette Yearwood, CEO of the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority explained the need for the expansion to the dialysis service offered at the Cayman Islands Hospital.
“Cayman is unfortunately, like the rest of the Western world, currently seeing an increase in the number of patients suffering from chronic kidney disease,” she said.  Our chronic kidney disease and dialysis population has grown exponentially over the years; in 1998 there were 10 dialysis patients compared to 52 patients requiring dialysis in 2012.  This represents a 420% increase over a period of just 15 years.

“I am pleased to see that a number of our patients are benefitting from this additional service. The Health Services Authority is committed to providing the best possible care to all our patients and stresses the importance of maintaining healthy lifestyles, which is one of the most important tools in the prevention of many chronic diseases. We therefore encourage our patients and the public to adopt healthy habits and lifestyles, thereby reducing their chances of developing chronic illnesses such as chronic kidney disease. In that way the need for dialysis will hopefully be reduced in time.” she added.

Category: Health

Comments are closed.