由 Diana Bradley
, Staff Writer | November 17, 2011
From the November 2011 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Along with home dialysis, refurbished dialyzers may also gain more attention after an announcement by researchers at May’s National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meetings, stating that refurbished dialyzers had actually proven safer than single-use versions. Research also indicated that they reduce costs and medical waste without negatively impacting patients.
Summer 2010, the Renal Physicians Association and major dialysis companies including DaVita and Fresenius, along with other stakeholders, launched the Vascular Access Initiative to reduce the percentage of patients who start dialysis with central venous catheters (82 percent) by 10 percent annually, along with reducing the patient percentage followed by a nephrologist for more than six months who start dialysis with a CVC (74 percent) by 20 percent annually.
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“Catheter usage is associated with high mortality and morbidity,” says Kraus. “Our goal should be to completely remove catheters from our units with the exception of patients who absolutely need them because they have no other vascular access available.”
RPA president Edward Jones said the VAI provides tools to nephrologists to eradicate CVCs in incident dialysis patients. He confirmed the tools have been used, but noted the impact has not yet been analyzed.
“The incident patients with CVCs have gone down, but it’s premature to attribute specifically to the VAI alone,” Jones writes in an e-mail to DOTmed News.
The global dialysis equipment market has seen monumental growth thanks to OEMs’ expanding global presence, along with a stable customer base and government efforts to provide better health care for ESRD sufferers. As the dialysis sector continues to grow and change, physicians, providers, nephrologists, OEMs and dialysis patients themselves need to remain proactive and educated to determine what is best to each individual’s mortality and quality of life.
As Smith says: “Dialysis is not a death sentence; it’s a life sentence.”
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