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Regional dialysis unit expanded

Sun Country Health Region is pleased to announce completion of the expansion of services at the Regional Renal Dialysis Unit.

The addition of three new chairs to the unit allows a 50 per cent increase in the volume of treatments that can be provided to residents of the Region. The satellite unit - affiliated with the home unit at the Regina General Hospital - is located in St. Joseph’s Hospital of Estevan.

As a result of the expansion, 18 patients are now receiving treatments three days a week. This is up from 12 people.

“We have almost eliminated the waiting list for dialysis treatments in our Region and we are very happy to be able to do that,” said Cal Tant, President and CEO of Sun Country Health Region.

 “This expansion has been great for people on the waiting list. New dialysis patients, and their families, who previously traveled three times a week to Regina, are very excited,” he said.

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health provided $136,000 this winter for equipment and training, and has committed $365,000 in annual operating funding for the unit.

“This unit helps to put patients first,” Health Minister Don McMorris said. “This expansion makes it easier for people across South Eastern Saskatchewan to access treatment, and significantly improve their daily quality of life.”

Four new dialysis machines were purchased, at a cost of $27,000 each. Other equipment and more services from the pharmacy, clinical dietetics and laboratory departments were added.

Two more licensed practical nurses (LPNs) were added to this program to handle the additional work. The staff is now made up of three Registered Nurses, four LPNs, and half time manager Cheryl Harrison.

Renal Dialysis is a life sustaining treatment for people with kidney failure. Dialysis removes the wastes, toxins and extra fluid from the blood.

Many people are able to receive their treatment at satellite dialysis units, like the one in Estevan. The specialists (Nephrologists) from the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region determine who is able to receive treatment at the satellite units. Patients are accommodated at the satellite units as the capacity allows.

Media: For more information, please call Joanne Helmer, Communications Coordinator, Sun Country Health Region. Posted March 19, 2010

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