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Peritoneal dialysis program has room to grow

Peritoneal dialysis program has room to grow

MHSC program is convenient for those outside of Rock Springs

ROCK SPRINGS — George Reedy and Richard Lee both say they couldn’t be happier that their peritoneal dialysis needs are being met in Rock Springs.

Lee, of Green River, first began receiving peritoneal dialysis care in Salt Lake City in 2015.Richard Lee

“We were having to go to Salt Lake once a month,” he said. “When we heard about the services here, we knew it would be more convenient; the shorter drives, especially in winter.”

Reedy, of Wamsutter, agrees. He spent a month on hemodialysis, but has been part of the PD program since late August.

The staff at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County’s Dialysis Clinic wants everyone from Rawlins to Evanston, and from Rock Springs to Pinedale to know that there are openings for many more.

MHSC’s peritoneal program started in March and quickly began serving the area community, with three patients transferring their care and two patients who are new to the program, said Irene Brewer, a registered nurse and peritoneal dialysis program coordinator at the clinic.

“Programs typically have about 10 percent of their patient population on peritoneal dialysis,” Brewer said. “We hit that benchmark in September and now are looking to continue to raise awareness that this treatment modality is available in our area.”

Sweetwater Memorial currently serves 38 hemodialysis patients. Hemodialysis treatment filters the blood through a machine outside of the body at the Dialysis Clinic.

Peritoneal dialysis is different. It filters and cleans blood inside of the body. The patient’s abdomen is filled with a solution called dialysate that helps remove waste and extra fluids from the blood.

Peritoneal dialysis patients accomplish this in one of two ways, or a little of both:

CAPD — Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis is done manually with four to five exchanges every day.

CCPD — Continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis is done with the help of a machine at night while the patient sleeps.

“I love it,” Reedy said. “It doesn’t interfere with my whole day. The machine is so easy. It’s idiot proof. You just follow the steps. It tells you everything, even when to wash your hands. It really is simple to operate.”

Patients must have monthly labs at the care center and a one-on-one with Dr. Rahul Pawar, the medical director of nephrology and dialysis.

The PD program also is convenient. The two patients new to the program both had surgery at Sweetwater Memorial for their peritoneal dialysis catheters, Brewer said.

“They have a really good team,” Lee said. “I have suggested PD to a lot of people. I do it every night before I go to bed.”

Lee said he, his wife, and the dialysis team have begun working on getting him on a kidney transplant list. During this process and other medical visits, the Sweetwater Memorial team also discovered other health issues. He is now going through prostate cancer screening.

“He has done so much better since we started coming here,” said his wife, Barbara Lee. “He started improving immediately.”

MHSC is only the third Dialysis Clinic in Wyoming with a PD program. The other locations are in Casper and Cheyenne.

Reedy said he couldn’t be happier about that. He’s now traveling 140 miles round trip from Wamsutter twice a month. On hemodialysis, he’d be making that trip three times a week.

“It used to be that the dialysis community thought only patients with the perfect circumstances could be a candidate for peritoneal dialysis,” Brewer said. “However, in recent years, members of the dialysis community have begun accepting more and more patients into peritoneal dialysis, and the types of people who are performing PD have increased.”

Reedy said he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I highly recommend peritoneal dialysis,” he said. “Even if I lived just 2 miles away from the Dialysis Center, I’d still pick peritoneal dialysis over hemodialysis.”

Lee and Reedy said none of this would be possible if not for the support of family, friends and the team at Sweetwater Memorial.

“My wife, Jennifer, is my biggest supporter,” Reedy said. “My family, friends and our small community in Wamsuttter have been so supportive. Our employers have been awesome.”

Lee said any time they have a question or a problem, they call Brewer.

“We’ve called in the middle of the night,” Lee said. “She always gets back with us right away. If she can’t answer the question, she’s on the ball and gets the answer.”

For more information on peritoneal dialysis, call the MHSC Dialysis Clinic at (307)212-7711.