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Weekly Edition - Published  25 August 2016


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New service focuses on crucial dialysis stage

FIRST time dialysis patients on Merseyside will be the first in the country to be given crucial 1 to 1 support in an innovative improvement project to help them through the difficult 1st stages of treatment. The Royal Liverpool University Hospital's 'First Time Dialysis Project' will provide patient tailored education during the 1st 6 dialysis sessions to equip them with information to make decisions about their own treatment. Dialysis is used for patients who suffer from chronic kidney disease and is normally carried out 3 times a week lasting for around 4 hours each time. The 1st 90 days of dialysis are often the most critical, with patients' bodies and minds adapting to new circumstances.

The 'First Time Dialysis Project', which will benefit the 150 patients who start dialysis at the Royal each year, is supported by the Health Foundation, an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK. The project was selected following a highly competitive national selection process.

As a regional specialist dialysis unit, the Royal treats around 100 patients every day.  Dr Asheesh Sharma, consultant nephrologist and project lead, said:- "We've worked with our patients to create a service that supports them through an extremely difficult time. Chronic kidney disease is a life limiting condition with outcomes that can be worse than some cancers. It has a huge impact upon quality of life and patients are often under prepared to make decisions about their treatment options. With this project, we want to make dialysis as stress free as possible for our patients and their loved ones."

Dave Reid, 58, from Kirkby, underwent dialysis after suffering kidney failure when he was 23. "When I found out I had kidney failure, I didn't know what that meant, what my kidneys did or how it would affect my life. It's really important to have a nurse with the time to talk you through what is happening around you and catering the treatment specifically for you. Dialysis doesn't just affect you, it affects your family, too, they see what you're going through hooking up to the dialysis machine so often; they live it with you. This service is incredibly important for them as well."


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