New dialysis center at University Hospital Sharjah to house 12 stations tackling renal failure

haemodialysisSharjah, 12 December 2015 – University Hospital Sharjah (UHS) has opened a new dialysis unit to care for the growing number of kidney failure patients in the UAE.

Launched last month, initially with 5 dialysis machines, the unit will eventually house 12 stations that will be able to treat 24 patients daily in two shifts. UHS has a state-of-the-art water treatment plant that provides the dialysis unit with ultrapure water which allows to perform advance dialysis techniques thus improving the efficiency of the dialysis and helps to reduce the complications associated with long term dialysis.

H.E. Abdulla Ali Al Mahyan, Chairman of Board of Trustees, UHS, said: “Under the leadership and continuous support of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, the new dialysis center significantly expands UHS’s capacity to treat kidney diseases. Using the latest technology in water treatment, the addition of a dozen dialysis machines will be a major step forward in meeting the challenge posed by the growing incidence of renal failure in the UAE.

Michael Stroud, CEO of UHS, commented: “There is substantial demand for dialysis not only in the UAE, but in the whole Middle East region and across the globe. UHS’s new dialysis center will help patients get the treatment and care they need. It is vital, however, that we tackle the root causes behind kidney failure: that efforts are intensified to increase awareness of the dangers of fast foods, unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles, which can lead to obesity and diabetes.

Dr. Adnane GuellaDr. Adnane Guella, Senior Consultant Nephrologist at UHS, said the reason why an increasing number of people are suffering from kidney failure is largely due to the prevalence of diabetes. In the UAE, 19 percent of the population suffer from the disease.

One of the complications of diabetes is that the small blood vessels in the body are affected. When the blood vessels in the kidneys are damaged they cannot clean blood properly, which results in the buildup of waste materials and more protein in the urine. The body starts to retain more water and salt, which results in weight gain and swelling of the ankles. The end stage, or kidney failure, occurs when the kidneys are unable to keep the body in a healthy state and function. Dialysis is then required.

“This is a dramatic situation as even some teenagers are today suffering from diabetes type 2” said Dr. Guella. “By the time these children reach 40, they could already have serious complications from the disease, one of which is kidney failure.

Another risk factor for kidney failure is hypertension, Dr. Guella said. He also warned against smoking as it leads to cardiovascular disease, lowers immunity, and also affects the kidneys.

Physicians have called for more awareness of kidney disease and for regular screenings to detect it earlier, as dialysis is a time-consuming process. A patient has to undergo dialysis three times a week for about four to five hours.

There are two types of dialysis. One is hemodialysis, where the blood is purified through a filter connected to a machine. The other is peritoneal dialysis, where the abdominal lining (peritoneum) do the filtration work of the kidneys, with the help of a special cleansing fluid.

To prevent kidney failure, it is important to lead an active life, eat a balanced diet with limited carbohydrates and fats, drink enough water daily, and avoid soft drinks and energy drinks.

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