Patient Receives 1 000th Dialysis Treatment at George Hospital
After being diagnosed with Malignant Hypertension at the age of 14, Riaan Smit, now aged 26, received his 1 000th dialysis treatment at George Hospital's Renal Unit.
Mr Smit received a donor kidney on two occasions, which his body rejected. As a result of his condition, he developed renal failure and started his dialysis treatment at the hospital in 1998. His 1 000th dialysis treatment at George Hospital followed the rejection of the second donor organ.
Heamodialysis (dialysis) is the removal of waste material from the blood of a patient with acute or chronic renal failure by means of an artificial kidney. A single treatment session takes four hours, and the patient receives treatment three times a week. These treatments are lifelong, unless a successful organ transplant is done.
Theuns Botha, Western Cape Minister of Health, says: "We are in negotiations with the private sector in efforts to increase the number of dialysis patients in the province."
Patients receiving dialysis can lead a normal life, providing they take responsibility for their own good health by complying with dietary and fluid intake prescriptions, as well as taking their prescribed treatment. It is vital that patients on haemodialysis attend every session to prevent fluid overload and the accumulation of waste products in the blood.
"I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be included on the dialysis programme, because without it, I would not have been able to live," said Mr Smit. "Dialysis treatment is very expensive, therefore I try my best to take responsibility for my illness by complying with all the prescriptions to prevent complications," he adds.
There are currently 12 patients being dialysed at George Hospital, and nine patients receive treatment by a private company, National Renal Care. The hospital can only accommodate 12 patients for dialysis. All newly diagnosed patients, who are approved to go onto the programme, are referred to National Renal Care for dialysis.
The success stories of Mr Smit and other patients alike are due to the commitment and hard work undertaken by George Hospital's Renal Unit doctors and nursing staff.
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