With the opening of New Albany’s Fresenius Medical Care center, nearly 60 kidney patients who have been travelling to dialysis centers in other towns may be able to receive care closer to home.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, as of October 2015 there were 101,189 patients awaiting kidney transplants. In 2014 only 17, 105 transplants took place in the US, with 11,570 organs coming from deceased donors and 5,535 from living donors.
Kidney dialysis becomes necessary for sustaining life when one loses 85% -90% of his kidney function, usually due to end-stage kidney disease or to permanent kidney failure. Though there are some occasions when dialysis is needed temporarily, most patients require the treatment permanently or until they have a kidney transplant.
Fresenius Medical Care is the nation’s largest network of dialysis centers, and a leading manufacturer of dialysis products. Fresenius treats about 170,000 patients nation wide, with over 2200 centers available in the United States, with 56 of those being in Mississippi. They provide comprehensive services to patients with kidney disease, from in-center dialysis to support of home dialysis.
Because dialysis can be an arduous treatment for the patient, convenience of location is an important therapy consideration. Patients receiving dialysis in the center will travel to the center three times weekly; home dialysis patients typically go the center once or twice monthly. Each treatment takes from three to five hours, depending upon the patient’s specific circumstances, and can be extremely tiring. Dialysis requires strict scheduling and lifestyle adjustments that can be disruptive to patients’ lives. Not having to add several hours of travel time to that experience is of great benefit to both patients and their care-givers.
Patients at the center will generally be followed by physicians from Nephrology and Hypertension Associates in Tupelo, who may also work with the patient’s primary care physician to monitor healthcare progress. The centers employ nurses, patient care technicians and social workers to over see patients, carry out the treatments and help the kidney patients deal with the many lifestyle changes they will be undergoing.
With Fresenius’ nation-wide network of dialysis centers, patients who travel for business or pleasure, or who need to permanently relocate to another area, can call upon the free Patient Travel Service for assistance. With proper notice, the Travel Service can locate dialysis services near destinations and make reservations for treatment most anywhere in the US.
New Albany’s center, located at 925 Denmill Road (behind the Post Office), is part of a service group that includes Tupelo, Holly Springs, Oxford, Aberdeen, Hamilton, AL and others.