THE number of Clare patients requiring up to four hours of hospital dialysis three times a week has increased by 17% over a two-year period, new figures have revealed.
There are 258 people in the Mid-West receiving lifesaving dialysis treatment in various forms.
The Clare Champion has learned 62 Clare patients attend for in centre haemodialysis treatment at units in University Hospital Limerick and the Fresenius dialysis unit at Riverside Park on the Dock Road.
In addition another seven patients from Clare attend Unit 7, Merlin Park and the Braun Wellstone unit in Galway for their in centre treatment. Both Galway units are closer to home for Clare patients living in the north of the county.
This compares to 50 patients who attended UHL for haemodialysis treatment and nine in Galway in 2019.
There are currently four patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD), while seven people are now on home haemodialysis programmes. These patients have been trained by their renal teams at UHL on how to carry out these treatments.
The latter form of dialysis enables the patients to undergo their treatments in the comfort of their own home. Dialysis works as an artificial kidney for the patients as it removes the toxins from their bodies when their failed kidneys can no longer undertake this function.
Statistics were released this week to coincide with the launch of Organ Donor Awareness Week, which runs from March 27 to April 4.
Clare County Council has light up its headquarters on New Road in green during organ donor week to support this awareness campaign.
The Irish Kidney Association is dedicated to meet the needs of kidney patients living with and affected by end stage renal disease.
The Clare branch of the Irish Kidney Association has appealed to Clare people to carry an organ donor card to give people the gift of a new lease of life.
Clare branch chairperson, Peggy Eustace said branch members, transplant recipients and in particular dialysis patients sincerely thank the nursing and medical staff at the hospitals they attend for the wonderful care and assistance they have received during Covid-19 lockdown.
The branch are indebted to all frontline workers for the kindness they have shown.
“A transplant holds the only hope for these patients to return to a normal lifestyle and be free of dialysis as in the case of so many other illnesses like CF, heart disease and liver failure.
Thanks to generosity of the donor families there are many transplant recipients in Clare as such families at a time of great sorrow for themselves considered donating the organs of their loved ones to those who were gravely ill.”
To mark thirty years in existence, the Clare branch commissioned a Gift of Life Memorial as an expression of their thanks to honour organ donors in Ireland and worldwide.
The memorial park at Friars Walk in Ennis is a place of comfort for donor families and reflection for transplant recipients who greatly cherish the memory of their organ donors.
The branch has thanked the council for providing the site for this memorial, the council memorial committee, builder, Michael Fitzgibbon and everyone who helped bring this project to fruition.
When Covid-19 restrictions are fully lifted, the branch hope to organise an official opening for the general public.
The organ donor card can be obtained from the Irish Kidney Association telephone 016205306 or free text the word DONOR to 50050 at your local pharmacy or doctor’s surgery.
While the Clare branch is unable to hold its annual launch for organ donor awareness week, it will continue to support local renal patients.