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New renal unit to support rising demand

World-class renal facilities at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) will help cater for the growing number of South Australians requiring kidney replacement therapy.

Approximately one in 10 Australians aged over 25 will suffer from chronic kidney disease, but a diagnosis is often not made until their kidney function has deteriorated to the fifth and most serious stage, known as end stage kidney disease.

Once patients reach this point life-saving kidney replacement therapy is required via either a kidney transplant or dialysis treatment several times a week.

To accommodate the growing demand on these critical services, the new RAH has been fitted out with a larger renal unit equipped with state-of-the-art dialysis and transplantation facilities.

Clinical Director of the Renal Directorate Professor Graeme Russ said the service, which comprises both an inpatient wing and day centre, would see dialysis chairs increase from 17 to a capacity of 24.

  • “Expanded renal services at the new RAH will help us support the rising number of South Australians requiring treatment for kidney failure,” Professor Russ said.
  • “One of the most exciting developments is the inpatient area, which is far more expansive with four additional beds and double the number of acute dialysis chairs.
  • “In the inpatient space, there will also be an increase in the number of positive pressure rooms used to protect transplant patients from potentially harmful contaminants at a time when their immune system is compromised.
  • “In addition to this, our new day centre will have four extra dialysis chairs as well as a dedicated drop-off point directly in front of the centre’s main entrance to improve access.”

Nursing Co-Director for the Renal Directorate Kellianne Fraser said the new RAH was designed to improve the experience of patients by locating all renal services in one area.

  • “Many patients have issues with mobility and feel lethargic after their treatment, so this was incorporated into the design of the new facility,” she said.
  • “Currently, our patients need to be transported between different floors and must walk long distances for their treatment, so this is a game changer for them.
  • “Because the services are all in one place we can also provide more timely care to our patients.”

The new RAH has 100 per cent single inpatient rooms, enabling more treatment to be delivered at the bedside.

  • “By having single rooms we can ensure that patients are more comfortable as they will have less disruption and more privacy, in addition to better infection control,” Kellianne said.
  • “The new RAH also provides us the ability to deliver dialysis in every renal inpatient room, so patients who are too sick to travel will not need to leave their bed and be transported to the dialysis unit.”

The rising rate of Type 2 diabetes and Australia’s ageing population are the key reasons for the increased prevalence of end stage kidney disease.

Clinical Director of the Renal Directorate Professor Graeme Russ and Nursing Co-Director Kellianne Fraser in the new RAH’s Renal Dialysis and Day Centre.

Above: Clinical Director of the Renal Directorate Professor Graeme Russ and Nursing Co-Director Kellianne Fraser in the new RAH’s Renal Dialysis and Day Centre.

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