Kidney Matters - Issue 6, Summer 2019


Kidney Matters is our free quarterly magazine for everyone affected by kidney disease.  This issue includes another recipe for our Kidney Kitchen as well as articles about dialysis transport, UK Kidney week, conservative treatment, and an interview with a retiring dialysis nurse after 33 years. We know that being a kidney patient can be tough at times and that accessing the right help at the right time isn’t always easy. We’ve spent a great deal of time over the past year talking to kidney patients on dialysis, asking them what we can do to address this. The response was overwhelmingly ‘improved communication’ on what is going on in the kidney world and what is available to them in terms of support and how to access it.  Kidney Matters has been developed to tackle this as well as the many other issues kidney patients face in day-to-day life. Along with shared patient experiences, Kidney Matters provides on how to access emotional and practical support, financial assistance through our grant schemes, advice from leading kidney specialists and tips on how to keep as well as possible by eating a healthy diet whilst on dialysis.



How times have changed

When we were told that Sister Jill Armitage was retiring after 33 years

dialysing kidney patients on the Scunthorpe dialysis unit, we just had

to ask Jill about the changes she has witnessed over more than three

decades of kidney patient care.

Jill explains,

I was only just qualified when I started working on this

dialysis unit on 2 December 1985. I had no idea what I

was letting myself in for and was certainly unprepared

for the role. But my initial thought was well, if I don’t like

it I can move on in six months.

Here I am 33 years later, looking at the next chapter

of my life, but also looking back to how dialysis has

changed and greatly improved the lives of so many

kidney patients.

When I started we used a single needle, single pump,

a transmembrane pressure (TMP) button that you

turned manually on the machine, and some machines

had an ultrafiltration monitor which you could set and

others didn’t so you had to work off the TMP dial.

Every single patient was anaemic and iron deficient.

To combat this, total doses of iron were given to

some patients but transfusions were only given if the

patient’s haemoglobin was below seven. Each machine

had a ‘reverse osmosis’ (RO) water treatment machine

attached to it and large flat-plate dialysers were being

used that frequently burst and had to be changed

mid-session. Patients came into the ward and got

changed into their nightwear before coming over to

their machine. They all did different hours, some doing

three hours and others doing six hours, depending on

what the consultant had requested.

The consultant used to create his own fistulas in a mini

theatre where I was often a scrub nurse. Fistulas very

rarely failed. Gradually, we progressed to double pump,

single needle, then on to single pump with two needles.

Left to right -

Jill (in centre in dark blue) then from left Becky

Allen, Helen Smith, Hayley Hutchinson. Olga

Janusz (sitting), Doreen Zergi (patient), Karen

Hotchin,, Maria Miller and Alex Eftimie, with

Catherine Wood standing behind Alex

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines