Dialysis unit celebrates 15 years of service
The Cornwall General Hospital has marked the 15th anniversary of operating its Ottawa Hospital satellite dialysis unit.
The service has been provided by the same staff since it began with nine dialysis stations in September of 2002.
Krista St. Jean, a registered nurse, is one of them. “Today, we are able to see inpatients who may require emergency dialysis after surgery or a stroke. This is one of the benefits of having all of our hospital services on one site,” she explains. Other changes over the years include a completely renovated unit as part of the redevelopment project in 2014 and an increase in stations from nine to 15. The dialysis unit treats 30 patients a day, six days a week, some for years, until hopefully a kidney donor is found. “The impact of having a local dialysis unit is profound for our community; we’ve saved hundreds if not thousands of trips to Ottawa since we’ve opened,” says Ms. St. Jean.
The most recent change is a new nephrologist, Dr. Caitlin Hesketh. “I am pleased to support the team here in Cornwall by coming on site three days a week to assess any kidney conditions, not only here in the dialysis unit, but throughout the hospital,” she comments.
Dialysis is a treatment for reduced kidney function often caused by diabetes and high blood pressure. The process slowly removes blood from the body and transfers it to a machine called a dialyser or dialysis machine.
The membranes in the machine filter waste products from the blood, which are passed into the dialysate fluid and then returned to the body. Patients usually come in for treatment three times a week for four hours at a time.
Dr. Caitlin Hesketh