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New Dialysis Unit at LHSC Significantly Improves Patient Care


For Immediate Release:
June 10, 2009


(LONDON, Ontario) –The new state of the art Dialysis Unit is now open at London Health Science’s University Hospital as part of the second milestone of the major hospital restructuring at London Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Health Care, London.

London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care, London are now well into the next phase of redevelopment as part the overall restructuring of London hospitals. The new Dialysis Unit marks one of the very first program moves included in the restructuring.

"We are happy to see the years of planning coming to fruition through the opening of the new Dialysis Unit at University Hospital. This new clinic is part of our larger overall plan for London Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Health Care, London which extends into 2011 and will benefit our patients today,” said Neil Johnson Integrated VP London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care, London.

The Dialysis Unit will treat chronic ambulatory patients, acute in-patients and very acute inpatients in the ICU (with the use of portable dialysis equipment).

"The new unit will significantly improve patient comfort and treatment and also keep our health care providers safer than ever before thanks to a new central delivery system,” said Dr. Peter Blake, MD, Chair Division of Nephrology at London Health Sciences Centre.

The central acid/bicarbonate delivery system in the Dialysis Unit is a continuous loop around the facility that connects to each individual patient dialysis station. When patients arrive for dialysis treatment, their blood is often very acidic due to the poor working condition of their kidneys. Bicarbonate is used to lower the acid levels. Sometimes at the end of dialysis, acid needs to be reintroduced to the blood in order to boost the levels back to normal.

The amount of acid required varies from patient to patient and, in the past, the process involved staff carrying containers of the liquid to each dialysis station. Health care providers can now dial the required amount of acid into the system and have it delivered straight to the patient from a central location.

This new system also allows for a higher level of quality control for the bicarbonate than previous manual mixing methods. Mixed in small batches, each batch of bicarbonate can be quickly analyzed for quality before delivery to the patients; ensuring patients receive the most effective and highest quality of bicarbonate mixture.

The Dialysis Unit has been relocated from the 10th level to a newly renovated space on the 3rd level of University Hospital and is supported by the generosity of donors through London Health Sciences Foundation, including the late John B. Cronyn, AMGEN Canada, and the Bellamy family.

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London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for over 130 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital and Children’s Hospital, two family medical centres, and Lawson Health Research Institute - a joint research initiative with St Joseph’s Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 30 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s 10,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca

London Health Sciences Foundation is a Better Business Bureau accredited charity, linking our community and health care experts—including physicians, allied professionals, researchers, staff and educators—together in pursuit of medical excellence at London Health Sciences Centre. Established to strengthen London Health Sciences Centre's ability to provide the highest quality healthcare for patients in Southwestern Ontario and beyond, we offer opportunities to support discovery and innovation in research, education and patient care at our hospital. To see how donations create positive moments changing the lives of patients, their families and friends, and to see how you can support patient care and innovation at London Health Sciences Centre, visit www.lhsf.ca.

For more information contact:

Melissa Poulin
Communications Consultant – Restructuring
St. Joseph’s Health Care, London
London Health Sciences Centre
519-646-6000, ext. 64646

Alex Peterson
Manager, Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Foundation
519.685.6000 ext. 58527

After-hours assistance:
Call St. Joseph’s Hospital switchboard at 519.646.6000 and ask to page Melissa Poulin.