BRANDON—Dialysis services are being expanded in Brandon, launching new options for Westman residents living with kidney failure, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced here today.
“Providing more options for dialysis closer to home will allow Brandon and Westman-area residents to manage their own care without having to travel or temporarily relocate to Winnipeg for home training and support,” said Friesen. “Receiving services closer to home is a cornerstone of our government’s approach to improving Manitoba’s health system and this significant measure will benefit patients in the region in a variety of ways.”
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 12 patients. Peritoneal dialysis cycles a solution into and out of the stomach through a tube to collect and get rid of waste and fluid. It can be done with a machine at night or manually several times a day.
The home hemodialysis program, which will launch in 2019, will initially accommodate up to six patients. Hemodialysis uses a machine to remove blood from the body, clean it and return it to the body. Patients and family members receive training and supports to perform the treatment at home, rather than in the hospital.
“Together with our health partners, we continue to enhance dialysis services within the health region,” said Penny Gilson, chief executive officer, Prairie Mountain Health. “The Brandon Regional Health Centre has been offering hemodialysis service for more than 30 years. We are now very pleased to be in a position to offer all three renal therapies through the Brandon unit.”
The site in Brandon is the only one in the province operating seven days a week to treat a growing number of patients with kidney failure. It is also the only site outside Winnipeg with nephrologists (kidney specialists) on staff.
“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 Dr. Mauro Verrelli, medical director, Manitoba Renal Program. “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.”
There are currently more than 1,700 people with kidney failure receiving life-saving dialysis treatment in Manitoba, including 385 patients on home dialysis. An additional 5,495 people in Manitoba are being treated for stages one to five chronic kidney disease.
For more information on the Manitoba Renal Program, visit www.kidneyhealth.ca/wp/.