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Utah Inmate Dies when Dialysis Tech Doesn’t Show

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Source: Deseret News

Inmate dies after dialysis tech doesn't show

Ramon C. Estrada, 62, died Sunday, April 5, 2015, at the Utah State Prison.

UTAH STATE PRISON — An inmate scheduled to be paroled in two weeks died Sunday after a medical contractor responsible for performing his dialysis treatments failed to show up at the prison on Friday and Saturday.

Ramon C. Estrada, 62, died from apparent cardiac arrest that was the result of kidney failure, according to a statement from the Utah Department of Corrections. His body was sent to the state medical examiner to determine an exact cause of death.

“A preliminary review indicates that the lack of dialysis treatment could be a contributing factor in Estrada’s death,” said Department of Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Adams.

Richard Garden, the clinical services bureau director for the Department of Corrections, was placed on administrative leave while the circumstances leading to Estrada’s death are investigated.

A dialysis technician who works for University of Utah South Valley Dialysis Center, based in Sandy, “failed to show up as anticipated” at the Utah State Prison on both Friday and Saturday to provide dialysis treatment for inmates, Adams said. Estrada was to receive kidney dialysis on Friday. He died Sunday night while prison staff and others were preparing to take him to University Hospital to be treated.

Six other inmates, all men, also went without their scheduled dialysis and were taken to the hospital Sunday night. Four were admitted for an overnight stay. One man remained hospitalized Tuesday.

Adams would not comment on why the technician failed to show up or why it took prison officials until Sunday night to get treatment for the inmates.

“Obviously, we are aware that he didn’t (show up),” Adams said, but she would not say when prison officials discovered that the inmates hadn’t received their scheduled treatment.

The spokeswoman also declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding Garden being placed on leave. An internal investigation is underway.

“The delayed response in ensuring that the inmates received needed medical care is unacceptable,” Adams said.

Estrada’s parole date was just two weeks away, on April 21. He was sent to prison in August of 2005 after being convicted of rape. Estrada was a citizen of Mexico.

Aside from the Department of Corrections’ internal investigation, the Unified Police Department is also investigating Estrada’s death, which is standard procedure. Lt. Justin Hoyal said his department is primarily interested in finding out Estrada’s cause of death from his autopsy.

“(Criminal culpability in Estrada’s death) is one of the things that could play into this and one of the things we will look into,” Hoyal said. “But as far as the investigation as to what took place there at the prison, as far as his medical care and what may or may not have been taken care of, is being conducted internally by prison officials.”

A spokeswoman for the University of Utah Health Care said it would also investigate the “unacceptable mistake.”

“We are saddened to learn of this prisoner’s death and are concerned about the scheduling error for dialysis services provided at the prison by University of Utah technicians. We have a responsibility to provide quality care for patients. We will now conduct a thorough review of the circumstances that led to this unacceptable mistake and will take whatever steps are necessary to improve communications and procedures,” Kathy Wilets said in a prepared statement.

Adams said several changes will be put in place at the prison “to improve communication with and oversight of the dialysis contract provider.”

“Those steps include getting a schedule calendar with contact telephone numbers for dialysis technicians; requiring nursing staff assigned to the Olympus (prison) facility to make contact with and receive post-treatment reports from the on-duty technician on dialysis days; improving chart notes about each inmate’s status and condition; and requiring timely notification to the charge nurse when the dialysis schedule changes or a technician fails to show up,” she said.

$2.2 million Dialysis Center Approved in Graham, NC

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GRAHAM, NC – After an agreement to move existing dialysis treatment centers in Alamance County to the newly proposed facility, the plan for a $2.2 million dialysis center in Graham, NC has been approved.  Renal Treatment Centers, a subsidiary of one of the nation’s largest kidney care companies, DaVita, will be responsible for the new center.  Renal Treatment Centers already owns two other dialysis centers in Alamance County.

The new Graham location would create a 10-station Kidney Disease Treatment Center which would be certified as an end stage renal disease (ESRD) facility.  According to the Certificate of Need Section of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, the new center would “provide in-center hemodialysis and home training for peritoneal dialysis and home hemodialysis.”

The new facility is expected to open in late 2015.  A proposed timeline stated that plans would be completed by March 1, 25 percent of construction should be completed by June 15, and the center should be open for service delivery by December 1.

The center plans include relocating eight existing dialysis stations from the Burlington Dialysis Center and two from the North Burlington Dialysis Center.  Even with the relocation, the Burlington center would maintain 17 stations for patients there and the North Burlington center would maintain 11 stations.

One major factor influencing the decision for the relocation were the letters written by 31 dialysis patients supporting the proposed Graham site.  According to the application, “All of the patients have indicated in their letters that they live closer to the proposed Graham facility and that the facility will be more convenient for them.”

Dialysis Tech Jobs in Graham, NC

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) dialysis technicians, categorized under the “health technologist” occupational category, are expected to experience good job growth in North Carolina.  The BLS projects that dialysis tech jobs in North Carolina will increase by 18% over the next ten years, resulting in more than 800 new jobs in the state.  Health technologists earn a competitive salary. For more information on becoming a dialysis technician, check out dialysis technician training in North Carolina. Dialysis Tech Jobs in North Carolina

New Dialysis Machine Able to Treat Newborns

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VICENZA, ITALY – Italian researchers have developed a dialysis machine that can successfully treat newborns. They invented the machine to treat newborn infants suffering from kidney failure.

In some cases dialysis machines used for adults can be adjusted to work for small children. But newborn infants are so small, using an adult dialysis machine is very difficult, if not impossible. “To try to treat the patient with an adult machine is like trying to fix a watch with a tool that you use for a large car,” said Dr. Claudio Ronco, director of the department of nephrology at San Bortolo Hospital.

Newborns are incapable of withstanding the force of adult-size dialysis machines. Researchers said that using such machines can overpower a infant’s delicate blood vessels. “The neonate is so small that it requires dedicated technology,” said Ronco.

Researchers have named the new machine the CARPEDIEM (Cardio-Renal Pediatric Dialysis Emergency Machine). It is designed to provide kidney dialysis to infants and small children between 4.4 and 22 pounds. One of the major differences from the adult-size machine is the blood flow and filtration. Adult-size machines user much larger catheters and handle higher blood flow. The CARPEDIEM uses very small catheters that protect the infant’s blood vessels.

Since the first use of CARPEDIEM, ten other infants in Europe have been treated. It is the hope of Ronco and other researchers to present the new technology to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval. “There is definitely an interest in the United States for this machine,” he said.

What is Dialysis?

Dialysis, sometimes referred to as “renal dialysis” is the process of removing waste products and excess liquid from the blood. Dialysis is necessary when a patient has suffered kidney damage or kidney failure. Dialysis procedures are often delivered by a dialysis technician. The technician is responsible for working with the patient and monitoring the patient’s response to the dialysis.

Centurion 1500+ dialysis machine approved by FDA

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Centurion 1500+ Dialysis Water Treatment SystemHemodialysis, sometimes just called “dialysis,” is a way to mimic the natural activities of the human kidney. Dialysis may be necessary when a person experiences kidney damage or kidney failure. Patient’s are connected to a dialysis machine to receive the treatment. A dialysis technician assists with the process and monitors the patient before during and after the treatment.

Water treatment/purification is one of the most important factors in dialysis treatment. Dialysis works by mixing water with dialysate. This mixture helps remove waste and excess fluids from the patient’s blood. Water purification is absolutely crucial to the dialysis procedure. The body of an average person is exposed to only 14 liters of water per week. A typical dialysis patient is exposed to more than 300 liters of water per week. If the water is not ideal for the body, the patient will rapidly suffer the consequences.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Centurion 1500+ dialysis water treatment system for marketing. Designed by AmeriWater, the Centurion 1500+ is unlike any other dialysis treatment system. It uses an integrated heat disinfection design that disinfects the entire unit in a single step. Further more, this system disinfects the membrane as well as the delivery lines and inlet.

This disinfection system greatly reduces the time it takes a dialysis technician to clean the unit. Water purification units are typically supplying water for multiple dialysis machines. Therefore, introducing a higher level of efficiency in the water treatment system is experienced by multiple patients.

The Centurion 1500+ is not only designed to work in healthcare and dialysis facilities. The water treatment system can also be used for in-home treatment. The system uses technology that allows it to operate even in hard-water environments. Diane Dolan, CEO of AmeriWater said, “We’re very excited to introduce this innovative unit which complements our complete line of dialysis water treatment systems for home use, and medical facilities.”

New Dialysis Center Opens in Gainesville, GA

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USA Vascular - Gainesville Dialysis Center

Photo provided by accessnorthga.com

GAINESVILLE, GA – Residents are happy about a new dialysis center that recently opened up in Gainesville, GA. The small town is located about an hour north of Atlanta. Dr. Michael Lebow heads up the new facility that was designed specifically for dialysis patients. “Access Gainesville has been specifically designed with the dialysis patient in mind. We feature two full-time ultrasound technologists, a state of the art endovascular suite and a full service vascular clinic staffed Monday through Friday,” he said.

Gainesville is home to several other Fresenius dialysis centers. Dr. Lebow is a Fellowship trained vascular surgeon and was a critical part of the North West Georgia Physician’s Group. He has brought his training and experience to the new Gainesville dialysis center. There he has developed an “office-based system” that not only improves patient access to dialysis treatment, but helps patients improve their quality of life.

Dialysis Technician Training in Gainesville, GA

New dialysis centers in Gainesville are great employment options. Students in the area should consider dialysis technician training in Gainesville knowing that there are several facilities that could provide prospective jobs. Health technologists, such as dialysis technicians in Gainesville, earn an average $37,000 per year, or about $18 per hour. Becoming a dialysis technician requires an associate’s degree or completion of a certification program. Many students can complete their education and begin working within two years.

Georgia Dialysis Technician Salary

The Importance of Friendly Dialysis Technicians

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The Importance of Friendly Dialysis TechniciansThe process of receiving dialysis is not fun. Many patients have to receive hemodialysis treatment several times a week. Each treatment can last 3-5 hours and often requires large 15-guage needles to be inserted into the arm. Patients can not get up and walk around. They can not move their arm. They are temporary restricted to their chair, for hours. The only saving grace for many patients is the conversation and interaction with other patients and hospital staff. That’s why it’s so important that dialysis technicians are trained to not only be professional, but friendly.

Whether you’re getting a haircut or receiving dialysis, personal attention is noticeable. As humans, we enjoy it when others remember our name, our personal preferences, and can immediately engage on a more intimate level. That’s what makes the personality and actions of a dialysis technician so important.

For many patients, the dialysis process is agonizing. The anxiety of sitting in one place, partially immobilized for hours is tiring and mentally exhausting. Having friendly and empathetic staff during the dialysis process can make all the difference for a patient. We all know how fast time can pass when engaged in a conversation. Of course, medical staff don’t have the ability to stop and sit with patients for hours to just chat. But having staff that understands a patient’s situation and can react on a personal level to their anxieties, goes a long way.

Are you Friendly and Looking for a Medical Career?

If you have great interpersonal skills and are looking for a medical career, a job as a dialysis technician may be just right for you. Working as a dialysis technician requires both interpersonal and technical skills. Many of these skills you will learn and hone during your dialysis technician training program.

Personal Skills. As a dialysis technician you will be working with patients and other medical professionals all day. It is important that you have the interpersonal skills that allow you to collaborate with staff and empathize with patients.

Detail Oriented. Working with dialysis equipment and monitoring a patient’s vital signs requires a high level of detail. Incorrectly analyzing these details could result in improper dialysis treatment.

Physical Stamina. Many dialysis technicians work long shifts. The majority of their time is spent on foot, moving from activity to activity throughout different parts of the hospital or medical facility.

Technical Skills. The core curriculum for dialysis technician duties involves developing your technical skills. If you’re able to grasp concepts regarding the human body, principles of dialysis, and technology, the dialysis technician occupation may be right for you.

Warren County Community College Offers Dialysis Technician Courses

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Starting January 27th through April 4th 2014 the Warren County Community College in New Jersey will be offering courses for dialysis technician. These courses are focused on providing students with the skills and knowledge necessary to enter the job force as a qualified dialysis technician. This dialysis technician course is the only one offered in the region. If you are not able to attend, you may consider searching for dialysis courses in another area:

Why Become a Dialysis Technician?

The dialysis technician is one of the most important health technician occupations in any hospital or advanced clinic. Many patients rely on dialysis to assist with kidney damage or kidney failure. The dialysis technician plays an important role in helping patients with their treatment, monitoring and recording patient progress, and maintaining the dialysis equipment. Dialysis technicians
earn a competitive salary, about $38,000 a year, or roughly $18/hour.

The training to become a dialysis tech is rigorous and requires certification. Most states require students to pass a final exam before becoming certified. We have provided some more resources to learn about the dialysis technician curriculum, job responsibilities, and more.

Peritoneal Dialysis

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There are two main types of renal dialysis: dialysis that uses a dialysis machine and peritoneal dialysis. Peritoneal dialysis is the process of using the peritoneal membrane, the membrane that lines the human abdomen, to filter and clean the blood. If a patient experiences kidney failure or kidney damage, the body can begin to build up with harmful wastes, minerals, and excess fluid. If the blood is not properly filtered with dialysis, this build up can be life threatening.

How does Peritoneal Dialysis Work?

The basic process for peritoneal dialysis consists of:

  1. Introduce a cleansing liquid called dialysis solution into the abdomen via catheter. This solution contains dextrose, a sugar that pulls wastes and extra fluids into the abdominal cavity.
  2. Allow the cleansing solution to reside in the abdomen, usually for 4-6 hours (dwell time). The membrane on the walls of the abdomen, called the peritoneum, allows waste products to pass from the blood to the dialysis solution.
  3. Drain the dialysis solution after the prescribed dwell time. This normally takes 30-40 minutes.

Why Patients Choose Peritoneal Dialysis

One of the major benefits of peritoneal dialysis is that you don’t need to make an appointment at a healthcare or medical center. The dialysis can be administered by yourself at home. This gives you more control over your treatment plan but requires the patient to be much more knowledgeable of treatment procedures, safety precautions, etc. It is important for a patient undergoing a peritoneal dialysis treatment program to work very closely with the physicians, dialysis technician, dialysis nurse, dietician, and other healthcare staff involved in the treatment plan.

Dialysis Technician Duties

Even though peritoneal dialysis is normally administered at home, the dialysis technician plays an important role in assisting patients with their dialysis treatment. A dialysis technician helps the patient identify treatment frequency, monitor patient health, and track progress. The dialysis technician plays an important role in any kind of dialysis treatment.

What is a Dialysis Technician?

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A dialysis technician is a health care specialist that operates and maintains dialysis equipment. These technicians provide direct patient care and require a unique set of skills to be successful in this occupation. Dialysis technician must receive training to learn about the human body, how dialysis works, and how to operate the equipment. Dialysis technicians earn a competitive wage and are used in a wide variety of health care settings.

What is Dialysis?

Dialysis, sometimes referred to as kidney dialysis or renal dialysis, is the process of artificially filtering a person’s blood to remove waste and excess water. Normally the kidney performs this function, but when a patient suffers from kidney damage or kidney failure, dialysis may be necessary. Without dialysis, kidney failure can be deadly. That is why dialysis technicians play such an important role in the medical field.

How to be a Dialysis Technician

In order to become a dialysis technician, you must go through a rigorous training process. Training programs vary in length and complexity. That’s why it’s important to request FREE information from multiple schools before you make your choice. Once training is completed, most states require that students become certified or licensed before they can provide patients with dialysis services.

 Dialysis Technician Salary

Dialysis technicians earn a competitive salary. According to O*Net Online, an America Job Center Network partner, the average dialysis technician salary is $38,080 per year, or about $19 per hour. Dialysis technician salary can vary based on the cost of living in specific areas or the education and experience of each employee. One good way to find dialysis technician salary rates in your area is to search online job boards and see how much local employers are paying dialysis techs. Indeed.com is  a great source for finding online job listings and salary rates.

Dialysis Technician Salary

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Dialysis technicians are paid to operate hemodialysis equipment and assist patients who are receiving kidney dialysis. In order to become a certified dialysis technician, you must attend a training program from a dialysis technician school. Once you have completed training, you may be required to pass a final exam before you can be certified. As a certified dialysis tech, you will be able to work in a clinic or hospital and earn a dialysis technician salary.

Average Dialysis Technician Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) dialysis technicians are categorized under the health technologist and technician occupational group. In 2012 the median health technologist salary was $40,700 per year, or about $20 per hour. The highest 10% of health technologists earned more than $67k annually. Some health technicians earned as much as $100,00 for specialized occupations and administrative positions.

Geographic Location

Just like any occupation, geographic location can impact dialysis technician salary. A dialysis technician in North Carolina earns an average of $37,230 per year. A dialysis technician in the next state over, Tennessee, can earn $56,000 or more. Much of this is due to local economies, state budgets, and health care laws. When searching for a location to start a career, it’s smart to select an area known to have higher dialysis technician salary.

Top Paying States for Dialysis Technician Salary

Top Paying States for Dialysis Technician SalaryThere are some states that have a higher average dialysis technician salary. The majority of the highest paying states are located on the west coast and in the north east of the country. The top paying states by annual salary in 2012 were:

  1. Mississippi – $61,500
  2. Tennessee – $54,490
  3. Minnesota – $53,930
  4. Alaska – $53,770
  5. Washington – $53,610

Top Paying Metropolitan Areas for Dialysis Technician Salary

Highest Paying Metropolitan Areas for Dialysis Technician SalaryAcross the country there are pockets of communities and cities that seem to have a higher than average dialysis technician survey. Not all of the communities were located in the highest paying states from above. All metropolitan areas had an average salary higher than $64k. In 2012 the top paying metropolitan areas for health technologists and technicians were:

  1. Redding, CA – $71,150
  2. Bangor, ME – $68,540
  3. Mobile, AL – $66,640
  4. Nashville, TN – $65,680
  5. Bridgeport, CT – $64,760

Other Allied Health Technician Salaries

Compared with other allied health care occupations, dialysis technician salary is very competitive. However, dialysis technicians generally earn less than other allied health care occupations, such as dental hygienist or surgical technician. A dental hygienist averages about $68,000 per year and a surgical technician salary averages about $39,000.