Monday-Saturday 5:45 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Our Dialysis Unit offers chronic outpatient hemodialysis Monday through Saturday for Sweetwater County and surrounding areas. The eight-station facility is managed by and located inside Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County's Medical Office Building.
Rahul Pawar, MD - Nephrologist
The Dialysis Clinic of Sweetwater Memorial
The MHSC clinic opened in 1997 with four stations, or chairs. In May 2014, the center doubled in size when it was moved to the third floor of the clinics at 1180 College Drive.
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each roughly the size of a fist, located just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine, according to Dr. Rahul Pawar, the medical director of nephrology and dialysis at MHSC. The kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood daily, producing 1 to 2 quarts of urine.
Hemodialysis treatment filters the blood through a machine outside of the body at the Dialysis Clinic.
“We are the supplement source of kidney function,” according to Clinic Director Nicole Halstead. “We filter blood in three and half hours, which your kidneys would do naturally in 24 hours. We’re filtering out the toxins.”
“Toxins are in the blood stream. They usually come out in your urine. When the kidneys fail, we filter the blood for the toxin that your kidneys can no longer filter out.”
MHSC’s dialysis patients benefit from the in-house dietician, who helps them with their restricted fluids and meal changes in their life. The clinic also offers the assistance of the in-house social worker who aids in the psychological and social changes that occur when initiating dialysis.
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:
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.
Be kind to your kidneys
“In the United States, kidney disease has skyrocketed with more than a half-million people currently on dialysis, according to Dr. Pawar.
“Kidney disease — as well as the conditions that contribute to it, including diabetes, obesity and hypertension — is often asymptomatic, enabling the condition to progress ‘silently’ for many years,” he said.
The leading cause of kidney damage is diabetes 1 or 2 and high blood pressure. But other things can go wrong. Kidney failure can occur at any age from a wide variety of causes – cancer, hypertension, uncontrolled diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Hepatitis C or obesity.
What’s the best thing you can do for your kidneys?
Dr. Pawar suggests:
• Control your blood pressure and monitor it regularly at home.
• Control diabetes.
• Lose weight.
• Eat a mostly vegetarian diet.
• Follow the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and olive oil.