Happy birthday! Acquaviva Kidney Center has celebrated its 20th birthday few weeks ago. The staff has organized a party for all the patients and the employees and together they made a great celebration.
From time to time it is important to step out of the clinical routine and celebrate what you have achieved. Patients and staff celebrated twenty years many of them spend together in the Acquaviva Kidney Centre.
Dr. Bonifati, the medical director of Acquaviva Kidney Center, said: “We have decided to celebrate because we have to be proud of the achievements of all these years. In good and in though times the staff always went on with strength and trust. We will continue to use staff competence and passion to improve the quality of life of every single patient!”
Staff and families from our Toowoomba clinic took the opportunity to join the Research Walk of Kidney Health Australia to raisefunds for kidney patients. This association is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping people with kidney disease, with a view to improving their health outcomes and quality of life and that of their families and carers.
As last year, Kidney Health Australia called the kidney community again for the national Research Walk to come together and raise funds and awareness to support those affected by kidney disease. The registration monies for this walk will go towards further research into kidney health.
Following two days of fog and rain, the 2016 Research Walk presented with a beautiful sun-filled day on Sunday, 11 September 2016. The Diaverum team gathered together at beautiful Queen’s Park and Botanic Gardens at 9.00 am with hats, water, families and enthusiasm. 28 staff and family from Diaverum’s Toowoomba Dialysis Clinic joined in the fun! “We were honoured to be joined by the Managing Director Esteban Cox and his family for the 5km walk around the park”, said Alexia Mohr, Clinic Manager from Diaverum Australia’s Toowoomba Dialysis Clinic in Queensland.
The walk ventured around Queen’s Park twice allowing the group to enjoy the beautiful sights of heritage listed gardens and walking paths. Still, this was not why so many people joined the walk. Their reasons were written on their numbers, like “I walk because I have kidneys and I can, “I support kidney health” or “I support my wife who cares for kidney patient”.
Chronic kidney disease currently affects an estimated 1.7 million Australians. Each year more Australians die with kidney related disease than breast cancer, prostate cancer and even road deaths.
Patient education is a crucial factor in the question of what type of treatment a dialysis patient chooses: This is the result of an international study performed by Diaverum. It was published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE in May 2016. Patients receiving information about the different treatment options in advance of their first dialysis session chose significantly more often peritoneal dialysis (PD), whereas haemodialysis (HD) is chosen by patients who start dialysis without prior information to the treatment – and that, although there is no medical indication against PD.
In 2012, with more than 500 patients from 25 dialysis centers in Poland, Hungary and Romania Diaverum has examined the circumstances, which led to the decision for one of the two treatment forms. It is the first study in Eastern Europe, which examines the relationship between patient education and type of treatment. For the evaluation, a distinction was made whether the start of the dialysis treatment was planned (with more than three months in advance, 42%) or non-scheduled (less than three months, 58%). The result is unambiguous: 98% of non-planned treatments were performed as hemodialysis, only 2% as peritoneal dialysis. Balanced ratio, however, can be seen with the scheduled treatments: Here the patient decided together with their doctors in at least 17% of all cases to use PD, 83% chose HD. The main reason identified by the experts of Diaverum was the information provided to the patients: In 94% of the cases with planned treatment starts , patients received extended patient education sessions and material. In cases with unplanned treatments, this was possible only in 69% of cases.
Willingness to change is low, more patient education needed
The study also shows that the decision for a certain type of treatment is made very early: Only 4.5% of patients with a non-scheduled start of treatment changed later on from hemodialysis to peritoneal dialysis. “The willingness to change is low. Most patients remain with treatment form with which they started, “says Prof. Dr. Belén Marrón, Medical Director Worldwide Home Therapies. That’s why Diaverum puts a lot of effort into comprehensive patient education and shows the patient – if time permits – the specific treatment forms. While in-centre haemodialysis is always performed by experienced nurses and doctors it ties the patient very much to fixed dialysis times. Peritoneal dialysis needs to be performed by the patient himself. Therefore it offers more flexibility and autonomy for the patient. “We do not advise the patient to one or another form of treatment, but we enable them to make a sustainable decision that fits with their personal and medical needs,” says Dr Marrón.
Hugo Varela Brom, on dialysis since five years, is being treated in the Diaverum Crani Lagomar Clinic in Canelones, on the coast of Uruguay, Latin America. He is married and lives as close to a normal life as possible despite his disease. Hugo has a bachelor degree in historical sciences and works as a research journalist focusing on Latin American history for newspapers and two radio stations, where he has his own monthly programme. When connected to the dialysis machine, he usually prepares his radio programmes or write articles for different newspapers. “I would certainly prefer to do something else than going on dialysis, but I feel very secure coming to the Diaverum clinic three times a week.”
“I meet many people who are very negative because they suffer from kidney failure. For me it is a matter of attitude. Everybody is responsible for his/her own life and we all have a role in life – to give something. The trick is to stay optimistic and with the Diaverum nurses and doctors, who care for us as individuals, not only patients, I can”.
The Lutsk City hospital in north-western Ukraine this month took delivery of a truck-load of machines, supplies, beds and other furniture that had been donated by Diaverum Sweden via Barnmissionen, the Swedish branch of the international Children’s Mission organisation.
Diaverum’s Malmö clinic was handed back to the public system in May which meant we had to figure out what to do with the equipment. Some, clearly, could be redistributed to the other Diaverum clinics in Sweden, but the situation also presented an opportunity to do something charitable. Barnmissionen, which works to support children in need, was the perfect choice.
Mikael Joume, from Barnmissionen, contacted Diaverum this week to say that the equipment has arrived safely, has been installed and is now in operation.
He wrote: “Our warmest thanks for the gifts and that you thought of the Children’s Mission.”
Lyudmila Lonyuk, a representative of the charity in the Ukraine, also wrote to say that the hospital in Lutsk was in desperate need of furniture and equipment. “Thank you once again for your wonderful help,” she wrote.
Lutsk City hospital is a 700-bed hospital which treats more than 25,000 people a year, performing some 10,000 operations annually. All emergency patients, homeless and poor patients from Lutsk and its surrounding districts use this hospital.
Sweden Country Managing Director, Christina Sterner, says “We were sad to close the Malmö clinic and see our patients and colleagues leave, but it brings us much joy and it is inspiring to see that some of the leftover equipment has found a new well deserving home.”
If you have ever had to be admitted to hospital, you are probably already aware of the tremendous impact that a caring nurse can have on the overall quality of your recovery. This is because nurses are the beating hearts of the healthcare system. Nurses are with patients and their families in their darkest times and also their happiest times. They are there to hand a new baby to the mother or hold the hand of one who just needs a friend.
And so, one might ask, what has brought over 16 million men and women throughout the world to choose the nursing profession. The answer is that they are all united by the passion to help people. Naglaa Maddh, Head Nurse, at Diaverum’s Prince Mohammed Bin AbdulAziz Dialysis Centre in Riyadh, explained “I always knew I wanted to help people, which is why I initially entered medical school. But a couple of months in, while I was accompanying my father to the hospital, I realised that the nurses were really the ones spending time with patients. The sincere dedication I saw that day inspired me to leave medical and become a nurse”.
This same passion also led Meshal Al Khulayfi, a Country Vascular Access Coordinator who works alongside Naglaa, to a career in nursing. “I love to make people feel better and an important part of this is to create a trusting relationship with my patients”. Having understood the importance of creating a friendly and inviting environment for their patients, Naglaa and Meshal visit each of their patients individually as soon as they arrive at the clinic.
“We make it a point to listen to the patients’ concerns” said Naglaa “and then we try to integrate their suggestions. This lets our patients know that we are here for them and that they are important to us”.
However, although helping people can be a fulfilling way to spend your work day, this line of work does not come without challenges. Meshal explained “As a nurse, and especially as a renal-care nurse, I need to double my efforts to make sure that our patients are receiving all of the support they need. Most of our patients suffer from chronic kidney disease and so they need to visit our clinic 3 times a week for 4 hours each time. Overtime, the repetitive therapy takes a toll on their emotional and psychological well-being”.
all around the world will generally agree that their profession is very rewarding and this, for various reasons. For example, as a Head Nurses, Naglaa feels particularly fulfilled when she finds the perfect balance between the satisfaction of her patients and that of her nurses. Naglaa adds “I want to make sure that the nurses feel that they can count on me for support and that the patients know that I am here for them to voice their concerns. It is not always easy to balance both, but when I walk around and feel like I have contributed to an overall positive environment in the clinic, words cannot express the joy this brings me”.
As for Meshal, the most rewarding aspect of his job is when patients are grateful for his efforts. A simple and sincere thank you from them is enough to make his job worthwhile for him. “I had one patient in particular that was really grateful” says Meshal “He invited me to his house so that his whole family could meet me. I have found that patients are the happiest when you become friends with them, and in this case I believe our friendship truly will go beyond the walls of the clinic”.
Today, Naglaa and Meshal, are proud to have become renal-care nurses. On the occasion of International Nurses Day, we should all take a moment to reflect on how nurses have helped us and our families. On behalf of the millions of patients throughout the world, we would like to thank all nurses for their caring and dedicated service.
Meet Melinda, a 34-year-old Hungarian and is now a mother of six. Why is that special? She delivered her twins as a dialysis patient.
The story with Melinda’s kidneys began 7-8 years ago. She had already had four kids by then and during the fourth pregnancy she started struggling with hypertension. In 2010 she was diagnosed with atrophic kidneys (kidney shrinkage) and became a dialysis patient.
From 2012 she has been treated three times a week in Diaverum Hungary’s Laszlo. She had two failed pregnancies within two years, but she didn’t give up on a fifth child and, in 2015, she conceived once more — and this time she was carrying twins!
Melinda was on HD during the whole pregnancy without major complications. She had dialysis sessions six times a week according to Dr Albert’s prescriptions. “This was the first time in my career that we assisted to a successful pregnancy. The whole team was united, we had a close and fruitful cooperation with the gynaecologist and the obstetrician. We were focusing on the mother-to-be and on all the delicate aspects of her treatment to avoid the possible complications,” adds Dr Albert.
Finally, Melinda gave birth to two healthy babies: a boy and a girl. The twins were born premature, but are now both doing fine and Melinda, while on dialysis, is a happy mother again.
“It was a real challenge all along. We were worried, of course, keeping our fingers crossed for her, but we were also confident and committed to help her through this difficult period,” comments Katalin Tolnai, Head Nurse at Laszlo.
“We continue to take care of the mother and we take a keen interest in the family’s future. We are very happy for them wishing all the best for the family,” adds Dr Marietta Török, Hungary Country Medical Director.