LGH expands services for dialysis and oncological pharmacy departments

By Kevin Woodhouse

With the recent expansion and upgrade in services at the Lakeshore General Hospital’s Nephrology Centre and the Oncology’s Pharmacy, the goal to service more patients in a more serene environment is progressing.

“We will have more time for our patients and be able to help even more,” Emilia Ponzo told local media during a tour last Wednesday of the LGH’s two expanded facilities.

The head paharmacist for the Oncology’s new pharmacy demonstrated the new expanded suite with two large refrigerators that dwarfed the previous one that served the entire department.

“We have created a state of the art pharmacy,” said Ponzo showing the technicians gloved and gowned who work behind plate glass mixing the toxic chemicals required for radiation and chemotherapy treatments. The nurses who deal directly with the patients no longer make the chemical cocktail mix and a pharmacist certifies every dose.

Automatic doors seal off the preparation station and air vents dispel the chemicals safely. The $900,000 upgrade has been in service since January.

The Nephrology Centre, where patients come for dialysis treatments, opened recently and now provides 26 separate stations in an airy and well lit open concept that, with its expanded capabilities, can offer the service for area residents instead of driving into the city up to three days a week for treatment.

“Originally, the dialysis centre was half of this size and less stations for patient care,” Dr. Rolf Loertsher, the chef of the Nephrology Centre, said that with the expanded services there “are now consultation clinics in place as well as different forms of dialysis so that patients can receive care closer to home because West Island residents who used to go downtown can now receive care here.”

Another innovation for the centre is the implementation of home dialysis services with patients receiving implant catheters to complete the procedure in the comfort of their own homes.
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