Fresenius Medical Care of Greencastle opened a state-of-the art dialysis facility on the Putnam County Hospital campus earlier this year.
The German -based company is the largest dialysis company in the world. Their North American base has 1,600 centers in the United States alone.
"We saw a need in the community that provided us an opportunity to make dialysis more convenient for patients. They had to travel to other places to get treatment. Now, they can stay closer to home," said clinical manager and registered nurse Tracy Millhourne.
The facility offers the latest medical equipment as well as high-end entertainment for patients.
"We have touch screen televisions with internet access at every treatment station. Dialysis takes from three to five hours to complete, so it's important people have something to do while they wait. We like to say we are high tech, high touch" said Millhourne.
Patients undergoing dialysis come to the center three times a week for treatment.
Kidney dialysis does some of the work of the kidneys when they are unable to do it themselves.
This includes removing excess fluids and waste products from the blood, restoring electrolyte levels and helping to control blood pressure.
The facility has a patient load of 18 people. Treatment is offered in two shifts.
The first 12 patients arrive around 6 a.m. As they come off their treatment the next six patients are prepared to start theirs.
A typical day in the facility begins with technical staff testing the water used in the treatment, prepping machines and testing them prior to 6 a.m. when patients begin arriving.
Assessments are made on the patients as they receive treatment, IV's are checked and information charted at the patient's side with computers.
At the end of the day, machines are checked and cleaned and the water room is closed down.
"We have an interdisciplinary team that works together to provide care for patients. Every person on the team has an important role," said Millhourne.
Fresenius Medical Care employs Millhourne, another registered nurse and two part-time technicians.
They have a social worker and a dietician as well as a technical department. Their medical director is Dr. Sherif Elassal who sees patients at Putnam County Hospital every Monday.
"Chronic kidney disease may be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders. Early detection and treatment can often keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse. When kidney disease progresses, it may eventually lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life," explained Cheryl Sweeney, Fresenius Area Manager.
Fresenius has other centers in Terre Haute, Bloomington, Linton, Danville and Spencer.
In Greencastle they are located at 316 Medic Way. Business hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri. For questions and information call 653-0000.
For admission information call their Danville office at (317) 745-5855.