St. Barths Online

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Aug 4, 2004

New kidney dialysis machines at the infirmary

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As of Monday, July 19, residents of Saint-Barth suffering from kidney failure and requiring dialysis several times per week no longer have to travel to Saint-Martin for this treatment. Two dialysis machines (as well as a third for backup) have been installed in two rooms set up exclusively for the purpose at the Saint-Barth infirmary. On Monday morning at 10 am, a 70-year-old man had an appointment for his first dialysis treatment in Saint-Barth, relieved that he no longer has to spend three days a week in Saint-Martin. This is a great improvement in terms of patient comfort as well as safety. “It was imperative to have these machines in place before the start of the hurricane season and before the closing of the runway at the airport in September,” says Laurence Mathey, director of AUDRA. “Dialysis should be available everyday, even holidays and Sundays, and without having to worry about weather conditions.”

The Association for the Use of Artificial Kidneys (AUDRA) is a non-profit health organization whose goal is to provide dialysis machines throughout the islands of Guadeloupe, in close proximity to those people suffering from kidney failure. To date, one dialysis machine has been installed in Marie Galante and one in Saint-Martin, as well as four Guadeloupe, in Capesterre, Saint-François, Petit-Canal and Pointe-à-Pitre where the dialysis center is located within the hospital.

Nicole Gréaux, one of Bruno Magras’ deputy mayors, studied the possibility of a dialysis center Saint-Barth for two years, in collaboration with the medical team at Bruyn Hospital. The purchase of the equipment, as well as the installation and utilization of the machines, was entirely funded by the municipal government and the non-profit group, FEMUR. Ongoing maintenance of the machines and the medical costs for the four patients in Saint-Barth are covered by AUDRA.

For the opening of the new dialysis center, three members of AUDRA Were in Saint-Barth: Laurence Mathey, the director of the association, Daniella Céleste, a health official, and doctor Henri Merault. In anticipation of finding a nurse that lives in Saint-Barth and is trained to perform dialysis, Armelle Fauviau, a dialysis nurse from Saint-Martin will come to the island several times a week to take care of treatments here. The local patients know her well, as she was there when they went to Saint-Martin for their treatments.

The dialysis center is not reserved solely for residents Saint-Barth, but is also available for any visitors to the island who are dialysis patients and need treatment during their stay.

Cécile Lucot


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