Inpatient Dialysis Keeps Patients Close to Home
Inpatient Dialysis Keeps Patients Close to Home

Inpatient Dialysis Keeps Patients Close to Home

Hospital

Wyandot Memorial Hospital Senior Director of Nursing Angela Harr (from left) and Dr. Jacob Conklin, Chief of Inpatient Medicine and Hospitalist Services, collaborate with Nephrologist Benahili Iboaya, MD, on inpatient dialysis for patients in need of kidney dialysis while hospitalized. Dr. Iboaya recommended the Tablo all-in-one units shown here for the ease in which they can be positioned next to a patient’s bedside. Harr said the units are stored in the hospital’s Specialty Healthcare Center until needed in the Inpatient Unit.

Wyandot Memorial Hospital’s inpatient dialysis service eliminates transfers for patients in need of dialysis while hospitalized. Patients can receive care locally at WMH for a pressing medical situation while simultaneously having their dialysis needs met.

The start-up of the service in early 2020 came at a time when staying close to home was paramount.

“We were very fortunate that we were ready and prepared to care for individuals needing inpatient dialysis during the early days of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic,” noted Angela Harr, WMH’s Senior Director of Nursing. “The timing was perfect and enabled us to keep patients here instead of transferring them to large urban hospitals.”

Harr indicated dialysis is sometimes needed when a patient has an injury to the kidneys or is diagnosed with a serious kidney condition such as kidney failure. Dialysis properly filters a patient’s blood when the kidneys are no longer healthy enough to perform this job.

“Our kidneys are responsible for removing waste and fluid that accumulates in the body," she explained. “The kidneys allow the waste and fluid to be eliminated when urinating. Kidneys that are not functioning well can be detrimental to a patient’s health and can result in death.”

Harr said Nephrologist Benahili Iboaya, MD, suggested starting the inpatient dialysis program at Wyandot. He is a kidney specialist with regular office hours at the hospital’s Specialty Healthcare Center and offered to champion the effort.

Dr. Iboaya recommended using the Tablo all-in-one unit, which combines sensors and advanced software with dialysis equipment to take over the job once performed by the kidneys. The equipment routes a patient’s blood through a filtering device that cleanses the blood manually and pumps it back into the bloodstream.

Inpatient dialysis does not replace the need for outpatient dialysis treatment facilities, but rather bridges the gap between the need for acute care and long-term outpatient care.

“Many of us have family or friends that receive ongoing dialysis at DaVita Kidney Care, Wyandot Dialysis or another area facility,” Harr said. “They provide a vital service that we’re fortunate to have in Wyandot County. But dialysis is sometimes needed while a patient is hospitalized with us, so now we can do that right here at Wyandot Memorial.”

Harr added that having dialysis for inpatients is not only more convenient for patients and their families, but also more cost effective by avoiding a transfer via ground or air.

“The continued advances in technology enable us to bring the care our patients need right to their bedside,” the nurse leader stated. “Inpatient dialysis is one more tool we have available, and it’s already proven to be valuable in caring for our patients.”

For more information about inpatient dialysis, phone Harr at 419-294-4991, extension 2204.