Bermuda- New Home Dialysis Service to ease hospital load

By Caribbean Medical News Staff
For four years Bermudian nurse Irena Ashton had dreamt of establishing a home dialysis service. Now that dream has become reality. The clinic is set to ease the country’s healthcare sector by not only reducing the number of patients who receive dialysis at the General hospital, but will also allow the health sector to save millions.
While displaying the new facility which is located on the premises of Woodbourne Avenue in Hamilton, Mrs Ashton stated: “Dialysis has never been done outside of the hospital in Bermuda.” The clinic can accommodate as many as 40 patients and this will significantly relieve the pressure at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital’s unit in the acute care wing, where at present 170 patients receive dialysis.
Instead of the traditional haemodialysis, a procedure in which a patient’s blood is filtered through a machine; the Bermuda Home Dialysis Service (BHDS) offers peritoneal dialysis. This is a procedure that patients can perform on themselves and at home; patients often opt to undergo the procedure while they are asleep.
Mrs Ashton said: “It’s a good option for new dialysis patients- It’s gentler and more natural. Haemodialysis is now traditionally looked at as the last resort. Controlling ones’ own treatment empowers patients, while they continue to receive one-on-one time with healthcare staff.”
“They will come here for training at the beginning, which is usually anywhere from a month to a month and a half,” Mrs Ashton added. “Then they start dialysis at home and come here for check-ups once a month.”
Mrs Ashton believes that the service could cost $50,000 less each year per patient, and that as many as 40 per cent of patients could qualify for the treatment.

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