It's sad to recognize that I am more mobile since Steve died, and it made me think, "What would we have done to make such a trip?" Granted, we did travel with our NxStage machine and Steve dialyzed in our hotel during domestic travel. But international travel is more of a challenge. My curiosity led me to consult the concierge at the Anantara Resort where the medical conference was held. He directed me to Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital (www.samitivejhospitals.com) and to Nisarat Jaidee, MD. A visit to the center was arranged.
|With Sirinapa Cheethanaghai at |
left, and Dr. Nisarat at right
dialysis center: a spotless, airy unit consisting of fifteen dialysis stations. The beds were separated by permanent partitians, not curtains. I recognized the Fresenius dialysis machines - the same type used in Seattle. I imagine that such familiar equipment would be comforting to traveling patents. And clearly, there is an atmosphere of professionalism and respect among the staff.
The staff consists primarily of RNs,
mostly medical-surgical nurses who
have received advanced training in hemodalysis. Central line access and fistula punctures are performed by Registered Nurses at this center. Line infections are rare.
Dialysis patients traveling in Thailand may make advance arrangements for treatment in Sumitivej Sukhumvit Hospital. Treatments are available six days a week, Sundays excluded. As in the US, most in-center patients dialyze three times a week, with treatments lasting four hours. Thailand hosts many patients for surgeries and treatments of all types.
Near the entrance of the dialysis center was a lovely photo of patient celebrations, i.e., birthdays and such. Clearly, these nurses care deeply about their patients - just as the dialysis nurses in Seattle do!
I valued my visit with the dialysis staff in Bangkok, and I wouldn't hesitate to have a patient or family member dialyze at the Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital while traveling in Thailand! How unfortunate it would be to miss a visit to Thailand - truly the "Land of Smiles!"
Linda Gromko, MD