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November 14, 2018 | News, Staff NewsTagged

Brandon Regional Health Centre announced the expansion of its dialysis services on December 17. Alongside its hemodialysis unit, the centre will now offer home peritoneal dialysis and home hemodialysis training and support for patients in the region.

Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen helped announce the new programs.

“Right now, people have to travel or temporarily relocate to Winnipeg for home dialysis training and receive ongoing support from care teams in Winnipeg,” said Friesen.

“Providing more options for dialysis closer to home means patients can manage their own care and undertake their dialysis treatment without coming into the hospital or travelling long distances.”

The province is investing more than $500,000 annually to support the expansion, which will make home dialysis training and ongoing support more accessible for patients in the region.

The home peritoneal dialysis program, which launched this fall, will initially accommodate up to 14 patients. The home hemodialysis program, which will launch in 2019, will initially accommodate up to six patients.

“We are very excited to announce that we will be offering home hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis in Brandon, says Brandon nephrologist Dr. Sushil Ratnaparkhe. “This will allow patients in western Manitoba to perform dialysis at home and alleviate the burdens of travel for care.”

Nearly 400 people across Manitoba currently utilize home dialysis.

“There are many benefits for patients who are able to receive dialysis at home, including more independence, less travel, fewer hospitalizations, less exposure to infection and fewer dietary restrictions,” says Manitoba Renal Program Medical Director, Dr. Mauro Verrelli.

“It’s a way for people to live with kidney failure, stay out of a hospital and remain within their communities and at home with their families.

BRHC also announced its move to operate in-unit hemodialysis seven days a week. The unit, which previously operated six days a week, now operates daily which adds capacity for additional dialysis patients. The change took place in fall 2018 and did not require any additional equipment or beds.

During 2018, Manitoba has seen increases in the need for hemodialysis particularly in urban centres. BRHC’s hemodialysis unit supports life-saving dialysis treatment for up to 114 dialysis patients. Apart from daily support for chronic hemodialysis patients, the unit starts new patients on dialysis, provides emergency dialysis and provides dialysis for hospitalized patients or patients visiting Brandon for specialized medical care.

Most in-unit hemodialysis patients require 12 hours of dialysis over the course of three treatments every week. On average, BRHC provides more than 340 in-unit dialysis treatments every week which is nearly 1,400 hours of hemodialysis.

There are currently more than 1,700 people with kidney failure receiving life-saving dialysis treatment in Manitoba. An additional 5,495 people in Manitoba are being treated for chronic kidney disease.

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