Higher demand for treatment pushes Sibu Kidney Foundation to full capacity

Benny Lau from Gree (second right) poses for a photo with the air purifier and Ivy (third right and, Lau (fourth right) as others look on.

SIBU, Dec 1: Unhealthy lifestyles have been singled out as the most probable cause behind more people developing kidney failure.

Sibu Kidney Foundation (SKF) chairman Temenggong Dato Vincent Lau said the number of patients at the foundation had increased from 35 two years ago to 77.

“It has a lot to do with lifestyle. Those with diabetes and hypertension are more prone to kidney failure. Our centre not only provides dialysis treatment but also educates people on how to avoid developing kidney failure,” he said here today after receiving a donation of an air purifier from Gree Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Lau said with these 77 patients currently, the foundation is operating at full capacity.

“We are now reaching our full capacity. Because of this, we also have to do four shifts of dialysis treatment, from two previously. Not only that, we also segregating the ordinary patients from those who have just come back from outstation due to the pandemic. Before that we had all patients in one room ,” he said.

He explained that they need to isolate the patients as a Covid-19 preventive measure.

“It depends on their PCR test. If they are found positive and their variants are very contagious, then they will have to be in the isolation room for 21 days while undergoing dialysis treatment,” he said.

Due to the high number of patients, the centre staff which includes nurses and doctors at times have to work night shifts until 11pm.

Dialysis treatments in the isolation room are on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays while those for ordinary patients are on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

“The increasing number of patients and the extra dialysis treatment during this pandemic have caused the staff to be very stressed now. We hope with the pandemic situation getting better now, we can return to normal operations,” Lau said.

SKF manager Ivy Lau said they are gradually changing their hemodialysis (HD) machines to hemodiafiltration (HDF) ones.

“We now have 13 each of the two types of machines. About two-thirds or 22 of the patients are now using HDF for the dialysis. HDF provides better hemodynamic stability during treatment,” she said.

The cost of each treatment using HDF machine is RM285 while for HD is RM200.

She said public donations help to pay for treatment for poor patients which they must undergo three times a week. — DayakDaily