Spokane Journal of Business

Fresenius begins nighttime dialysis at Sherman center

Service frees up patients to pursue other activities during lost daylight hours

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Fresenius Medical Care North America, a Waltham, Mass.-based operator of a nationwide network of kidney dialysis facilities, says it has launched a night-time dialysis program at the Fresenius Medical Care Spokane Kidney Center, at 610 S. Sherman.

The new service allows patients to receive treatments in the clinic at night, for eight hours, while sleeping or resting, usually three times a week. That expands on normal dialysis center hours of roughly 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., during which treatments last for four hours, says Chris Banks, Fresenius' Spokane-based area manager. In addition to having their days free for other activities, patients often report having more energy and better dialysis results when they receive treatment at night, Fresenius says.

"Nocturnal, or nighttime, dialysis can improve patients' overall quality of life," says Brenda Britos, clinical manager for the Medicare-certified kidney center, in a news release Fresenius issued about the service. "During the day, they may be able to work, spend more time with their families, or enjoy their favorite hobbies."

In the news release, Spokane dialysis patient Susan Miller says, "Since I began dialyzing at night, I feel better and have more energy during the day. The impact was immediate. My health has improved, and now I have much more flexibility to focus on doing the things I enjoy during the daytime."

Dialysis is a life-sustaining process that cleanses waste products from the blood, removes extra fluids, and controls the body's chemistry when a person's kidneys fail. Dialysis patients typically require treatment on an ongoing basis unless they receive a kidney transplant.

About 26 million Americans have chronic kidney disease and millions more are at risk of developing it, the nonprofit National Kidney Foundation says. An estimated 341,000 sufferers are believed to be waiting for a kidney transplant, and that number is projected to rise to 541,000 by 2020.

Fresenius disclosed earlier this year that it plans to open six new dialysis clinics over the next year or so in rural communities in Eastern Washington and North Idaho through its joint venture with Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital. Through the expansion, it aims to meet the needs of rural patients and free up space at other clinics here, a Portland-based regional executive for the company said.

Fresenius and Sacred Heart currently operate a total of seven dialysis centers in Spokane, Post Falls, Coeur d'Alene, and Hayden.

Fresenius Medical Care North American is a subsidiary of Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co., which is based in Germany and claims to be the world's largest integrated provider of products and services for people undergoing dialysis because of chronic kidney failure.

Kim Crompton
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