Foundation’s Christmas Appeal focuses on new dialysis machines

To help meet the need for updated equipment in the Renal Dialysis Unit, the Yarmouth Hospital Foundation will focus its fundraising efforts on dialysis machines this holiday season.

“The life span of a dialysis machine is about seven years, or 50,000 hours. Although the machines in our Renal Dialysis Unit are currently functional, the age of the equipment will soon present numerous challenges with repairs and may have an impact on patient care,” says Dr. Ahmad Tarakji, Medical Director of the Dialysis Unit at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital.

The Yarmouth Hospital Foundation has just sent out approximately 20,000 appeal letters as part of its annual Christmas appeal. To date over $25,000 has been raised.

It has been determined that over the next two years 13 dialysis machines will have to be replaced at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital. Although the machines in use are functional, the age of the equipment presents numerous challenges with repairs.

“The cost to replace one machine is approximately $35,000,” says Dr. Tarakji.
“New machines with newer technology will enhance patient care by improving the clearance of wastes and by providing the most efficient kidney replacement therapy available today.”

Renal dialysis is the process that cleans the impurities from the blood when the kidneys have stopped working effectively. Individuals with Chronic Kidney Disease must undergo three to four hours of dialysis every other day for the rest of their lives, or until a kidney transplant can be performed.

Approximately 40 people from Shelburne, Yarmouth and Digby Counties come to the Yarmouth Regional Hospital renal dialysis unit for treatment.

Of those accessing services at the unit 60 per cent are from Yarmouth County, 29 per cent from Digby County and 10 per cent are from Shelburne County.

Over the past few years it has been necessary to add a second shift of nurses to accommodate all of the people requiring dialysis.

“In the spirit of the holiday season, please consider making a donation to the Yarmouth Hospital Foundation towards the purchase of new dialysis machines,” adds Dr. Tarakji. “Let us try to remove some of the suffering of kidney failure patients and make their quality of life better by dialysis therapy!”