The impact that kidney dialysis has upon individuals, their families and friends is immense. It’s not just the effort of getting to and from hospital or dialysis unit three times every week, or the feelings of fatigue and tiredness that are the natural side effects of having your blood cleaned every other day, but there also significant medical side effects that may occur. This means that extra care and attention must be paid to anyone undergoing dialysis.
Whether it’s getting to and from hospital, getting out and about or undertaking any form of daily activity, 3 of the most problematic and potential life-threatening side effects of dialysis are:
- Cardiac shock and heart failure.
- Hypotension which is a significant drop in blood pressure.
- Internal bleeding due to the insertion of PICC lines and the use of blood thinking drugs.
In order to ensure that anyone undergoing kidney dialysis can live their lives to the fullest extent possible, Driving Miss Daisy has launched its own Kidney Dialysis Companion service. In conjunction with our medical support team, Driving Miss Daisy Companion Drivers can now be trained as Dialysis Companions.
The training involves understanding how dialysis works, the needs of the individual at the hospital, at home and during transportation or trips out and about. The dialysis Companions are trained in observing, identifying and dealing with the side effects of dialysis treatments.
Specific vehicles will have enhanced first aid equipment and our Client Services Centre is equipped to support all our Companion Drivers in the field.
This service was launched during the COVID lockdown in May 2020 at the behest of clients that undergoing kidney dialysis and found that the use of free Non-Emergency Patient Transport services, taxi and wheelchair-taxis services were too stressful and didn’t offer the end-to-end care capability embedded in the Driving Miss Daisy service.
For more information about kidney dialysis companion support please contact the Driving Miss Daisy Client Services Centre or visit www.kidneycareuk.org for more information.