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Dialysis unit at Powell River hospital expanding to meet demand

The Powell River General Hospital’s community dialysis unit is doubling in capacity.

Vancouver Coastal Health says this is being done to meet increasing patient demand and “to provide this essential care in a brighter, more comfortable and patient-centred setting.”

The expanded unit will have six dialysis stations, which will allow up to 12 patients to receive treatment closer to home, without having to travel for care. 

The current unit has three stations and can provide service to a maximum of six patients. 

When the existing dialysis unit faces more demand than capacity, Powell River patients have to travel to Sechelt or further three times a week to receive treatment.

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The newly expanded community dialysis unit is expected to open by this summer 

It will be located in the hospital’s former hydrotherapy pool space which was closed in 2018 after a thorough review and assessment of its structural elements.

The former therapy pool was built 28 years ago with donations from community partners. 

As a token of appreciation, a plaque commemorating this support will be installed near the new dialysis unit. 

VCH is grateful for the support provided by the Powell River Hospital Foundation, Powell River Health-Care Auxiliary, Rotary Club of Powell River, Powell River Lions Club and others in the community who helped raise funds for the construction of the pool, and renovations and repairs over the years.

There are seven community dialysis units in the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) region in Powell River, Sechelt, Squamish, North Vancouver, Richmond and two in Vancouver. 

Community dialysis units are operated by Providence Health Care (PHC) in partnership with VCH.

According to B.C. Renal, an estimated one in 10 people has some level of kidney disease. People can lose up to 80 per cent of their kidney function before noticing any symptoms. 

There are more than 5,200 kidney care patients in the VCH/PHC region. BC Renal plans, funds and coordinates health-care services for patients with kidney disease in B.C.

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