DUNCAN – Cowichan Valley residents living with chronic kidney failure have improved access to hemodialysis now that a $1-million project to relocate and expand the outpatient Community Dialysis Facility is complete.
The Community Dialysis Facility has moved into its new location at Coronation Mall in Duncan from Cowichan District Hospital. The number of dialysis stations has increased from five to nine stations, meaning more patients will be able to receive dialysis at the facility. Prior to opening, renovations were made to the new space to accommodate the nine dialysis stations, a nurses’ station and other support space.
“The increase in the number of dialysis stations means more Cowichan Valley residents living with chronic kidney failure can receive dialysis close to home,” says Bill Kane, VIHA’s Director of Renal Services. “Relocating the Duncan outpatient dialysis facility to a community setting also frees up space at Cowichan District Hospital for clinical needs.”
Renovations at the new location were completed as a part of the lease agreement which is funded by the BC Provincial Renal Agency (BCPRA), an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority. VIHA staffs and operates the facility. The annual operating cost of $1.245 million is shared by VIHA and BCPRA.
Approximately 30 kidney patients will undergo hemodialysis at the Duncan Community Dialysis Facility each week. Hemodialysis is a procedure that cleans the blood by removing waste products and excess water, something the patient’s kidneys can no longer do. Patients generally need three hemodialysis treatments each week in order to survive. Each treatment takes four hours.
"Renovation and expansion projects such as this one in Duncan ensure that we continue to meet the needs of patients who require dialysis,” says Dr. Adeera Levin, Executive Director, BCPRA. “At the same time, we are also focusing our efforts on early identification, improved co-ordination of care and empowerment of patients to be active players in the management of their disease. For an increasing number of patients across the province, this includes dialyzing independently in their own home."
Kidney disease, when identified early, can often be managed through diet, medication and lifestyle adjustments, which can postpone or prevent the need for hemodialysis.
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Valerie Wilson, VIHA Communications