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Dialysis unit


Work on the dialysis unit at La Verendrye hospital is going ahead at full-steam, with maintenance staff aiming to get done work there before month’s end.

“Everything [is] coming in next week,” said Ed Cousineau, manager of bio-medical engineering, during a brief on-site tour yesterday.

“By the third week in August, we’ll be tidying up. It will really look like a dialysis unit,” he added.

As electricians are installing wiring this week, finishing touches were put on the floor last week. Lights will be installed at the end of the week.

With the exception of the nurses’ area, most of the cabinetry in the clean and soiled utility rooms, the medication area, and the actual dialysis area has been installed, or will be by this weekend.

“The only two major things are the work on the mechanical and electrical,” noted Cousineau, adding the medical equipment, including the reverse osmosis systems, and sinks have arrived but can’t be installed until the plumbing work is done.

The walls have been primed, but due to a delay in an order, haven’t been wallpapered yet. “It really looks good when you have the wallpaper and trim,” he remarked.

He pointed out some of the changes made to the area which once constituted part of the day hospital, including the walling up of the west entrance and the addition of a door to 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.

Cousineau noted that besides cleaning the unit up after construction, installing the “hanging doors” (hospital curtains) also will be done.

Nursing staff for the unit currently are being trained in Thunder Bay.

 “We’re still plugging for Sept. 16,” Wayne Woods, CEO of Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc., previously has said.

Dr. Bill McCready, the medical director of renal services at Thunder Bay Regional Hospital, is in charge of staff as the unit here is considered a satellite unit of the one in Thunder Bay.

Once operational, up to 24 district patients will benefit from the unit’s services. Woods said he knows of about 20 currently in need of the treatments.

The treatments will be offered six days a week.

Many district patients currently travel to Thunder Bay for treatment three days a week.

The unit is 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.

In related news, further down the road will be the $8-million in renovations to La Verendrye itself. But administration is still waiting for word of approval of plans from the province, and work may not start until winter.

The extensive overhaul--which could take 18 months to two years to complete--will include a west wing located on the south side of the building, which will house the relocated dialysis unit.

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