Today a patient with renal failure passed away. This really opened my mind as I was able to reflect on the fact that hospices don’t just deal with cancers, but also a wider range of life threatening illnesses, such as renal failure. I spoke to the hospice physician who told me about the difficulty of prescribing drugs to patients whose kidneys aren’t functioning normally as the patient they will be unable to work it out of their system as easily as a person with a fully functioning kidney. 

This also reminded me of a talk I once attended by Lorraine Pooley, a lady who inherited a kidney disease which caused her to develop cysts on her kidneys. Her story was really interesting as she spoke about her experience of having dialysis, a transplant and also speaking to others experiencing what she did. She showed me the fistula on her arm which was used to connect her to the dialysis machine. This inspired me to learn more and I discovered that in order to revive dialysis an artery must be connected to a vein. I was also intrigued to find out that not  everybody’s veins are wide enough to have a fistula inserted and that there are only certain places in the body in which you can have a fistula, which is why Lorraine said that she wasn’t going to have hers removed in case she ever needs another transplant. Due to this, some patients have to be given an emergency neckline.

Posted by:Life of a Medic

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