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Dialysis unit to be operational Monday


After seven months of work, and years of waiting before that, the dialysis unit at La Verendrye hospital here will be used to treat its first patients Monday morning.

“There’s going to be six people treated next week--Monday, Wednesday, and Friday,” Wayne Woods, CEO of Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc., said Friday morning.

The work, which started in late-February, wrapped up this week.

“There probably are a few things to be done [over the weekend. It’s really a matter of getting things together,” Woods noted.

He added seeing the construction process come to an end was satisfying. “I think it’s pretty impressive. The crew from this hospital has done a terrific job,” Woods enthused.

The unit, located in the day hospital area on the ground floor of the hospital until a more permanent site is built as part of further renovations here, is accessed by a door from the south.

The unit consists of multiple areas, including the waiting area, the nurses’ station, a utility room, an isolation room for dialysis patients who are otherwise ill, a change room, and the patient room where treatments are administered.

The unit will be staffed by four nurses, two from La Verendrye, one from Thunder Bay, and one from Toronto. The local staff were trained over the summer at Thunder Bay Regional Hospital.

While only six patients will begin receiving treatments here next week, Woods said he hopes the unit can service 12-15 district patients by Nov. 1.

The unit potentially can service up to 24 district patients, with treatments offered six days a week.

The unit was made possible through government funding, as well as money raised by the Aboriginal Dialysis Unit Initiative and Riverside Foundation for Health Care’s “Care Close to Home” campaign.

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