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Sensing Savvy

Emergency Preparedness for Dialysis Clinics

Posted by Deborah Brouwer-Maier RN, CNN on Oct 31, 2018

One of the most devastating hurricanes in the history of the United States, Hurricane Katrina caused $75 billion in damage in New Orleans and along the Mississippi coast. Beyond its toll on infrastructure and the lives of the area’s citizens, the hurricane exposed several gaps in emergency preparedness for hemodialysis patients. Many clinics in the area didn’t have sufficient emergency preparedness plans in place; patients didn’t know how to adequately prepare for the storm; and public health officials were unaware of how much of the population was dependent on dialysis.

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Topics: Hemodialysis

Kidney Care News To Know

Posted by Deborah Brouwer-Maier RN, CNN on Oct 24, 2018

Otsuka Acquires Visterra
Otsuka has acquired antibody therapy maker Visterra for $430 million. Otsuka hopes to take advantages of Visterra’s therapies for CKD and other conditions.

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Topics: Hemodialysis

Kidney Care News to Know

Posted by Deborah Brouwer-Maier RN, CNN on Jan 15, 2018

DaVita Profits Decline 15 Percent for Q3

The loss can be attributed to higher than expected medical costs and the underperforming managed care business. Net loss for the quarter was $214 million. As of the end of September, DaVita provided services to 218,200 patients.

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Topics: Hemodialysis

Ways Dialysis Providers Can Defuse Patient Conflict

Posted by Deborah Brouwer-Maier RN, CNN on Nov 8, 2017

As a dialysis provider, you know that healthcare settings and patient conflict go hand in hand. But unresolved patient conflict creates more stress for your staff, decreases productivity and teamwork and harms your clinic’s ability to safely deliver top-quality dialysis care.

Despite these consequences, providers often shy away from confronting challenges with patients because conflict is almost always uncomfortable. Experts call this avoidance a lack of “conflict competence,” and cite it as a major reason for dysfunctional dialysis units.   

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Topics: Hospital Administration, Hemodialysis

Easy Ways to Improve Patient Communication at Your Dialysis Clinic

Posted by Deborah Brouwer-Maier RN, CNN on Oct 16, 2017

How a patient feels during his or her dialysis treatments often affects whether he or she will return to your clinic for further treatment. The National Kidney Foundation recommends patients evaluate the staff of a dialysis clinic before choosing a provider. The organization advises patients to see if the staff makes them feel welcome, if they were helpful, knowledgeable and were able to answer their questions. Patients also are encouraged to notice if clinic staff listens to them and addresses their needs.

Patients want to feel understood and at ease, and if your clinic is struggling to retain patients, this could be a contributing factor to patient retention.

Thankfully, a few changes in the way your staff communicates can improve patient experience at your dialysis clinic.

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Topics: Hemodialysis

Kidney Care News to Know

Posted by Deborah Brouwer-Maier RN, CNN on Sep 20, 2017

Fresenius Medical Care Acquires NxStage Medical

The deal was for about $2 billion, or $30 per common share. The deal is expected to close in 2018. Fresenius hopes the acquisition will help it accelerate growth within the home dialysis markets.

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Topics: Hemodialysis

Banding of High-Flow Arteriovenous Fistulas Decreases Hospitalizations

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Sep 11, 2017

Clinicians at a Fort Worth vascular access center wanted to ascertain the effects of banding their patients with high-flow arteriovenous fistulas. It is known that patients with high flow of more than 2 L/min are more likely to experience cardiac symptoms. Therefore, the nephrologists set a goal of reducing flow in the high-flow fistulas of 12 patients to between 600 and 1200 mL/min and then retrospectively analyzing the results.

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Topics: Hemodialysis

Kidney Care News to Know

Posted by Deborah Brouwer-Maier RN, CNN on Aug 21, 2017

Largest Dialysis Providers Ranked

Fresenius Medical Care (No. 1) and DaVita (No. 2) ranked as the top dialysis providers in the USA. Fresenius saw 192,964 patients this year, while DaVita saw 190,500. Coming in third was U.S. Renal Care, seeing 25,120 patients. Fresenius’ bump in volume came from an increase in patients accepted for treatment for acute kidney injury.

Source: Nephrology News & Issues

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Topics: Hemodialysis

Safeguard Your ECMO Program with the ELSA Monitor

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Aug 14, 2017

The ELSA monitor provides an easy-to-use, non-invasive method to measure recirculation in VV ECMO without blood sampling.” SS Said, MD

The state-of-the-art Transonic® ELSA Monitor helps optimize and safeguard extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy in infants, children and adults by:

  • Measuring true blood flow in ECMO circuits
  • Quantifying recirculation in the ECMO circuit
  • Detecting oxygenator clotting

With the ELSA, surgeons can place a cannula so that flow delivery is maximized. By maximizing flow delivery and minimizing recirculation, a perfusionist then has more time to change out the oxygenator if and when the ELSA identifies unacceptably high clot development within the oxygenator.

Knowing actual blood flow through the circuit at all times helps avoid catastrophic circuit failures in fragile ECMO patients. Kinks and circuit blockages can be immediately identified and corrected. When flow delivery is maximized, recirculation is minimized, and optimal cannula placement is achieved, the time a patient must be on ECMO is shortened. This translates into better outcomes and bottom line cost savings for an ECMO program.

Safeguard your ECMO program by using the Transonic ELSA Monitor.

1. Said MM et al, Children’s Hospital, Washington, D.C., “Influence of central hemodynamics on VV ECMO oxygen delivery in neonatal animal model,” J Neonatal Perinatal Med 2017.

 Guide: Why You Need Flow Verification During ECMO

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Topics: Hemodialysis

Trial Finds Transonic Surveillance Reduces Rate of Thromboses & Costs

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Jul 26, 2017

“I love this machine!” exclaimed Dr. Inés Aragoncillo when a slide displaying the Transonic Hemodialysis Monitor, was shown at the recent American Association of Nephrology (ASN) convention in Chicago. Dr. Aragoncillo was presenting the findings of her three-year RCT in which she and her colleagues studied the addition of ultrasound Doppler and ultrasound dilution (Transonic) surveillance to classic vascular access monitoring in their hemodialysis patients.

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Topics: Hemodialysis

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