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were about 250 people on dialysis nationally and the  and your centre only want you to travel for treatments
        wait for a transplant was about 12 months. Treatment  to places with similar standards to Ireland.
        by haemodialysis was considered the most expensive      In January we will know the results of the planning
        treatment around for a chronic condition and was     appeal decision for the Wexford Haemodialysis Centre
        largely only offered to the young, transplantable    and like the Kidney & Pancreases Transplant
        patients.                                            programme in St. Vincent’s University Hospital, I am
           The correlation today with the Cystic Fibrosis    beyond predicting when both projects will start. I
        patients seeking a new treatment, is a reminder of   remain optimistic, especially about the St. Vincent’s
        how dialysis was seen as an ethical economic dilemma.  project, but so many obstacles and traps now exist in
           The struggle to fund Erythropoietin (EPO) when it  bringing any new project to commencement, you have
        first arrived, also comes into mind. The battle to get  to wonder has Ireland become too bureaucratic, and
        EPO funded, back then, was not as public as the      are the British completely wrong in exiting the EU as
        ‘Orkambi’ campaign currently is. EPO was originally  both projects are affected by EU laws. However, the EU
        developed for renal patients to control their        laws might not be the problem in these cases but they
        haemoglobin, but it is better know as a drug of choice  restrict you in your choice of solution to the problems.
        for cheating athletes. The haemodialysis patients were  Limerick has got its new Haemodialysis Unit and
        given a unit of blood about every 6 weeks and EPO’s  Beaumont patients will move across to their new
        arrival meant that common practice ceased. Ireland   facility, perhaps in January. So there is good news for
        was one of the first countries to prescribe EPO for  some. I have yet to find any new renal funding in the
        dialysis patients, ending the frequent use of blood  HSE’s latest plan. We will see early in the New Year
        transfusions. An understated consequence today, is the  how our patient growth numbers stand.
        fact that we have one of the lowest amounts of          Christmas day on a Sunday saves a lot of
        hepatitis C across the world in a dialysis setting   rescheduling in the haemodialysis units, but,
        because we reduced using blood transfusions earlier  transplantation often occurs on Christmas day
        than most countries.                                 regardless of the day of the week.
           Nowadays it is much more understood how blood        May I take this opportunity, on behalf of the staff
        and blood products are susceptible to passing on     and myself, to thank you all, especially the nurses who
        infections to patients and the safety requirements, in  recently assisted us with the Christmas gift cheques
        Ireland, in a dialysis setting, are some of the most  and the physicians and surgeons. We wish you all a
        stringent in the world. This might help current      happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
        haemodialysis patients to appreciate the lengths their
        nurses undertake to adhere to strict protocols in
        haemodialysis centres. Any patient who has travelled
        abroad for haemodialysis treatments for holidays will
        be familiar with the levels of tests and paperwork
        before and after their trip. Ireland is one of the safest
        places in the world to have haemodialysis treatment
                                                                                               MARK MURPHY

         12 REGRETS




         29 WORLD KIDNEY DAY 2017





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