Regional renal care services receives new dialysis equipment

By Contributor
April 10th, 2010

Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital and other sites in the East Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary have received a total of $485,000 in new dialysis and water treatment equipment to better serve patients who access the Kootenay Renal Program.

“This new equipment will provide improved kidney care to residents of the Kootenays for years to come,” said Minister of Health Services Kevin Falcon. “However, it is also important to note that kidney disease is preventable and if kidney disease is identified early, it can often be managed through diet, medication and lifestyle adjustments, which can postpone and sometimes even prevent the need for dialysis.”

Through this funding, Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital has 13 new state-of-the-art hemodialysis machines ($390,000) and a portable reverse osmosis machine ($15,000), and Invermere and District Hospital and Boundary Hospital in Grand Forks each have new reverse osmosis machines ($80,000 total).

“This equipment is the lifeline for patients with kidney disease, so these are important upgrades for our program. This latest technology allows us to create new programs for some patients and ensures all patients receive treatment from reliable, top-notch tools,” said Dr. Gerry Karr, Medical Director IH Kidney Services.

Approximately 600 patients from the East Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary receive care through the Kootenay Renal Program each year.

In addition to various forms of dialysis treatment, the renal service provides a robust program that includes renal health education, nutritional information, and social supports for residents with chronic kidney disease

“If we can reach people early and provide them with the tools they need to take control of their situation, we know they will have much better outcomes. We can delay the progression to chronic kidney disease with changes in lifestyle and proper care,” said Maureen Lewis, Program Lead for the Kootenay Regional Renal Program.

The Kootenay investments are part of more than $1.178 million of new equipment for Interior Health, with the remaining funding used to purchase 25 state-of-the-art hemodialysis machines for Kelowna General Hospital.

Funding for the new equipment comes from Ministry of Health Services through the BC Renal Agency www.bcrenalagency.ca, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority.

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