As most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients know, California has passed a Legislative Bill designed to improve Dialysis Patients' care during treatments. It is expected to be a catalyst for similar bills passing across the country and perhaps even a federal regulation. While patients and professionals have voiced support on both sides of the debate, what has been most shocking are the real-life testimonials and "Horror Stories" as cited by the Mercury News. Take a look at a few of the following examples:
In opposition to the S.B. (Senate Bill) 349 Dialysis Patient Safety Act, a Dialysis patient wrote KidneyBuzz.com and said, "I've been a Dialysis patient for 30 years. I've been to several clinics and the one I'm at now is one of the best, I think. Now if we do not have any problems at our clinic I sure hope they don't go changing anything with some state rule. Leave well enough alone! Our manager of the clinic is great and our nurses and Patient Care Technicians are great as well. I hope nothing changes."
While some patients share the above sentiment, for many others the opposite has been the case and their care has been far from, "good enough." For instance, Vincent Gonzales, a patient from Los Angeles, witnessed a fellow patient go into cardiac arrest and die because workers were overwhelmed and couldn’t respond.
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In another case, Irene Botello, a patient from Fresno, finished her treatment and was left unattended in the lobby of her clinic where she fainted while waiting for her ride home because Patient Care Technicians were overwhelmed with other Dialysis patients. The only thing that kept her from hitting the ground was the buckle on her wheelchair.
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Yet another incident, Brenda Grant, soiled herself and had to pull a blanket over her to cover the smell because the workers were understaffed and couldn’t get to her in time to escort her to the restroom. These stories are just some of the many shared since introducing the Dialysis Patient Safety Act.
There is no doubt that Dialysis is a life-saving treatment, and most Dialysis Technicians, Nurses, and Administrators try to do their best for patients. However, the treatment is also an exhausting and frustrating process for patients who are grateful for Dialysis keeping them alive but concerned if they are receiving less than satisfactory treatment.
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This bill would require safer staffing levels in Dialysis Clinics and more time between patients so that they have ample time to recover from their treatment and workers can properly sanitize equipment (infection causes 1 out of every 8 deaths among dialysis patients) - among other additional safety standards. The hope is that the Dialysis Patient Safety Act offers patients much needed improved care as well as medical professionals further assistance to offer care at an even higher standard.
Ultimately, time will tell how effective S.B. (Senate Bill) 349, Dialysis Patient Safety Act will be and how quickly similar policies are enacted across the country. However, we want to hear from YOU. Do you support the S.B. 349? Let us know why or why not.
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