Maureen has been coming to The Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga for renal dialysis for five years. The treatment she has been receiving has been life changing. She considers her nurses to be like family members; her doctors like heroes.
“This is my home away from home,” she says. “When I first came here I didn’t think I was going to live, but the people at Credit Valley gave me my life back. When I am here
I feel like a flower nestled in a garden of angels.”
Maureen is among the more than 400 renal dialysis patients at Credit Valley – and its satellite clinic in Mississauga – who spend anywhere from three to five days a week receiving dialysis treatments that can last up to five hours, not including their travel time to and from home.
Dialysis can be a draining experience, especially for new patients. This, despite the fact that state of the art machines are used to do what a healthy kidney normally does; clean a person’s blood by removing waste products.
Credit Valley’s renal program is regional in scope, offering support to neighboring facilities like the Trillium Health Centre as well as smaller, less well equipped centres in the surrounding area. Mobile support teams are also regularly dispatched from Credit Valley to assist nearby hospitals with emergency service to patients in need.
Accommodating patients and schedules is an ongoing challenge, but one that is now more easily met within three state-of-the-art care centres that can house patients in up to 56 treatment beds at any given time, as well as the 24 spaces at a satellite clinic. The centres were opened as part of a larger expansion of ambulatory services at Credit Valley about a year ago, offering patients more space, privacy and comfort than ever before.
Credit Valley also leads the way in providing flexible care. Home hemodialysis is offered through the satellite clinic. This is proving to be very popular with patients and a real positive for the hospital. It allows them to have renal machines set up in their homes where they are able to perform their own treatments. This is more convenient for the patient, it eliminates the risk of infection or exposure to others, opens up valuable space within the hospital and is cost efficient.
New patients are encouraged to come with their family. Initially, they are scheduled to come during the day for two weeks to get used to the surroundings. This includes meeting and getting to know their primary nurse who is in charge of their overall care, as well as connecting with their primary nephrologists. They then work with the clinic to determine their schedule within the operating hours of 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
Maureen is a great example of someone who has benefited from her treatments as well as the personalized care she has received at Credit Valley. She is on a transplant waiting list in hopes of receiving a new kidney. She is so thankful to the hospital and her caregivers that she vows, “These loving people have worked miracles for me here and if I get my transplant, I will be volunteering my time here at Credit Valley. I love being here and want to give back in anyway that I can.”