Dialysis treatments go green

Solar power can help offset high utility costs and make hemodialysis treatments more environmentally friendly, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN). The findings point the way to a 'green dialysis' future where utilities and other consumables are no longer taken for granted but are used and reused wisely.

Patients and physicians may not be aware of the resource demands of dialysis treatments for kidney disease. But in fact, the treatments require a considerable amount of basic utilities such as water and power, so that a vast is left behind.

To see if solar energy might be used to help meet the rapacious power demands of dialysis equipment, John Agar, MBBS, Anthony Perkins, and Alwie Tjipto, MBBS (Geelong Hospital, Barwon Health, in Victoria, Australia) established a solar-assisted dialysis program in southeastern Australia that included four machines. They chose the simplest solar model: array donation to and service draw from the national grid.

The researchers found that after the first 12 months of the program, power costs were reduced by 76.5%. They anticipate that in the coming years, the system will turn a profit in addition to generating effectively free power. Therefore, solar-assisted power appears to be feasible and cost-effective, and dialysis services may want to investigate whether they can take similar steps towards greener dialysis.

"Although not all locations, purchasing environments, or local administrations will be suitable or supportive, the twin issues of and climate change demand that simple ecoassessment is made and solutions sought," the authors wrote. The researchers are also advocate for applying water conservation and improved waste management systems to dialysis programs.

More information: The article, entitled "Solar-Assisted Hemodialysis," will appear online on January 19, 2012, doi: 10.2215/CJN.09810911

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The cost of improving dialysis care

Nov 02, 2009

Improving survival among dialysis patients may increase treatment costs significantly, according to a paper being presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 42nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in San Diego, ...

Dialysis safe for kidney patients' heart health

Jul 09, 2009

Dialysis treatments do not affect the heart health of kidney disease patients who have had a heart attack, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN ...

Sleeping through dialysis: No nightmare for kidney patients

May 21, 2009

Dialysis takes hours of kidney disease patients' time several days a week, so why not do it at night while sleeping? Overnight dialysis is more convenient for some patients and offers significant benefits over shorter daytime ...

Recommended for you

Were clinical trial practices in East Germany questionable?

Oct 23, 2014

Clinical trials carried out in the former East Germany in the second half of the 20th century were not always with the full knowledge or understanding of participants with some questionable practices taking place, according ...

Schumacher's doctor sees progress after injury

Oct 23, 2014

A French physician who treated Michael Schumacher for nearly six months after the Formula One champion struck his head in a ski accident says he is no longer in a coma and predicted a possible recovery within three years.

User comments