Kidney patient cries out

AS BARBADOS MARKS WORLD KIDNEY DAY today, the lack of sterile conditions in the Artificial Kidney Unit of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) is a cause of concern for one patient, who has been on dialysis for more than five years.

The absence of basic supplies, the way the machines are cleaned and even the water system, from which samples are being taken, are the reasons he cites.

In a series of conversations over two months, the patient feared lives would be lost unnecessarily if conditions did not improve.

The source indicated everyone being treated in the unit needed sterile equipment, but those with the permcath, which allowed access through the chest, needed to be treated with “kid gloves” when compared to those with the fistula.

“There are no sterile gloves for the nurses to use. There is no surgical alcohol. There is no sterile gauze and there is no paper to wipe down the machines. You have to use the tissue that you dry with when you wash your hands to wipe down the machines,” he said.