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New Renal Dialysis Unit Opens at MRI

The UK’s most advanced unit for treating patients with kidney disease was officially opened on Friday 18th May at the Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI). The new Renal Dialysis Unit has state-of-the-art dialysis facilities which can treat 25 patients at a time. Each patient needs dialysis three times a week, and the unit operates morning, afternoon and evening sessions six days a week. The high-tech dialysis machines relay detailed information about each patient to nursing staff. This information will soon be linked into a new renal computer system, and the MRI will be the first UK hospital to have a complete IT system which tracks every aspect of a patient’s condition, including their care before and after transplantation. The unit has a self-contained isolation area with five beds available to treat patients with infectious disease such as hepatitis B, plus a treatment area for minor surgical procedures such as renal biopsies. While patients undergo their four-hour dialysis treatment, they can use a new bedside plasma screen with both radio and television channels. The system can also be used to relay education material to patients to help them understand their treatment. A comfortable recovery area is also available for resting at the end of a dialysis session. The Renal Dialysis Unit was opened by long-term patient Dennis Crane MBE, North Region Advocacy Officer of the National Kidney Federation. Dennis developed end stage renal failure in 1967, and so has first hand experience of peritoneal, hospital and home-based haemodialysis. He celebrated the 27th anniversary of his second renal transplant at Manchester Royal Infirmary in December 2006. Dr Alastair Hutchison, Clinical Director of Renal Medicine at the MRI, said: “The new unit is a major step forward for renal services, giving us access to additional capacity and the most modern equipment currently available. The bright, modern surroundings are much more comfortable for kidney patients, and feedback has been very positive.” The MRI has provided dialysis services since 1965, and the first kidney transplant in Manchester took place in 1967. The MRI team also manages satellite dialysis units at hospitals in Tameside, Macclesfield and Wythenshawe, together with an extensive home therapies programme caring for more than 450 dialysis patients in total. Also attending the MRI Renal Dialysis Unit opening was Dr Donal O’Donoghue from Hope Hospital, who is the National Clinical Director for Kidney Care in England and Wales. The event was followed by a series of presentations on key developments in research and treatment to staff working in renal services.