By Danny O. Calleja
Except for the machines that are yet to be delivered, the Sorsogon Provincial Health Office (PHO) is now ready with the operations of its Kidney Dialysis Center set up at the Dr. Fernando B. Duran Sr. Memorial Hospital (DFBDSM) formerly the Sorsogon Provincial Hospital here.
“Our medical staff had already been organized and all the other supplies and equipment are now in place at the PHO Dialysis Center. The public bidding required for the purchase of two units of brand new dialysis machines each costing nearly a million pesos had also been completed,” Dr. Edgar Garcia, the Provincial Health Officer and DFBDSM) chief on Monday here said.
Dialysis is one way to treat kidney failure as the treatment does the work kidneys used to do.
Garcia explained that the major role of the kidneys is to clean the blood. Each of the two kidneys that a person has is composed of over a million processing units, called nephrons. As the blood passes through the nephrons, water, salts and other wastes are removed from the body.
Aside from these functions, he said the kidneys also help balance body fluid and chemical levels, keep valuable substances and release hormones that control blood pressure, produce red blood cells and maintain healthy bones.
“When kidneys fail, toxic wastes starts to build up in the blood and fluid accumulates causing tssue swelling, congestion and high blood pressure. You will feel tired or weak and lose appetite,” Garcia said.
Common causes of chronic kidney disease include diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, glomerulonephritis and a hereditary disease called polycystic kidneys. When kidneys no longer function sufficiently to meet daily needs, the treatment options includes dialysis or transplantation. Neither of these cures nor treats the initial cause of kidney failure.
There are two types of kidney dialysis: hemodialysis (HD) and peritoneal dialysis (PD).
Garcia said the PHO will have two dialysis machines for these types of treatment. The first machine is for HD, a process that makes the patient’s blood flow through a tube from the arm to a machine that filters out the waste products and extra fluid. The clean blood flows back to the arm.
The other machine is for PD which fills the patient’s belly a special fluid that collects waste products and extra water from the blood. The fluid then is drained from the belly and thrown away.
Among the medical staff to man the Center is a nephrologist who would handle all patients suffering from kidney problems and determine if they need to undergo the dialysis process, Garcia said.
“What we are waiting for now is the delivery of the machines so that we could already put the facility into operations and be of help in addressing the increasing number of patients in the province that need to undergo dialysis treatments,” Garcia said.
Anyway, he said he had been assured by the Provincial General Services Office (PGSO) which facilitated the procurement transactions of the machine that it will be delivered before the end of the year and with that, the PHO dialysis center would start its operations by January next year.
Certainly, Garcia said the PHO Dialysis Center will make treatment of kidney diseases very affordable for patients or at very much lower cost than what are offered by private hospitals that charge patients undergoing dialysis more than P50,000 per month all throughout of his life in order to survive.
Generally, he said only a small percentage of patients can survive the expenses and cost of maintenance for patients in end-stage of renal disease and should he choose kidney transplant, the patient had to spend around P1.2 million for it.