Additional shift at QEH will make room for 9 dialysis patients

A new evening shift at the QEH's Charlottetown Hemodialysis Unit will make room for nine more dialysis patients, five of whom currently travel to Summerside for treatment.

'It's really great and I know we're all pleased. Very grateful'

Ann Bolger is 'grateful' the QEH has added another shift for kidney patients like her needing dialysis. (Ann Bolger/Facebook)

A new evening shift at the QEH's Charlottetown Hemodialysis Unit will make room for nine more dialysis patients, five of whom currently travel for treatment to Summerside, P.E.I..

New staff have been hired and trained to support the expansion, including two registered nurses, an LPN, a support worker and environment services staff, Health PEI said in a written release Tuesday. 

It's music to the ears of Ann Bolger, a dialysis patient who lives in Charlottetown but has had to travel to Summerside for treatment for most of the last seven months. 

'I feel great today'

"It's really great and I know we're all pleased. Very grateful that they were able to put a third shift on in Charlottetown," said Bolger, who began treatment on the evening shift in Charlottetown Monday. 

"I slept really well last night and I feel great today. So it's not the dragginess that I would have when I went in the morning, so it's good!" she enthused. 

Bolger said she felt sympathy for her fellow patients who weren't feeling as well as she was, who were forced to travel to Summerside.

"I'm so pleased that they got to back to Charlottetown as well," she said. She often drove herself to Summerside and back, she added. 

Added benefit

The evening shift should also benefit patients who work fulltime, Bolger points out. 

More Islanders have been needing kidney care, says P.E.I. Renal Program medical director Dr. Derek Chaudhary. (Government of P.E.I. )

"Now they can work all day and then go to their dialysis if they want to keep their full-time job," she said. 

There are currently 104 P.E.I. patients on hemodialysis receiving treatment in Charlottetown, Summerside, Souris and Alberton, according to Health PEI.

Bolger is waiting for a kidney transplant from her brother. She had a previous transplant in 1989 that lasted 26 years. 

'Sustained growth'

"Over the last few years we have experienced sustained growth and an increased need to provide renal care to Islanders," said Dr. Derek Chaudhary, P.E.I. Renal Program medical director.

To further support the 13 Islanders currently receiving peritoneal dialysis, two community-based renal nurses are being hired, Health PEI said. One will support those living in Prince County and the other will support patients living in Queens and Kings Counties.