Monday, March 10, 2014

My Recent Visit to Bangkok Kidney Center: Travel if you Can!

I recently had an opportunity to attend a medical conference in Bangkok, Thailand - the trip of a lifetime. Bangkok is enormous - a bustling mix of eight million people, hundreds of glorious temples, and an abundance of tropical sun. The trip from Seattle took twenty hours each way - and it was worth every minute of the journey.

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 ( and to Nisarat Jaidee, MD. A visit to the center was arranged.

With Sirinapa Cheethanaghai at
left, and Dr. Nisarat at right
Dr. Nisarat and the staff welcomed me graciously. They guided me through the
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.

Dr. Nisarat and the kind group of nurses explained that kidney disease is a growing problem in Thailand - usually the result of diabetes or hypertension, as in the US. Kidney transplants are encouraged. Home dialysis is generally peritoneal dialysis and is performed by RNs. I also learned that patients rarely ask to stop dialysis.

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!"

Take care,
Linda Gromko, MD


  1. Bangkok is really a glorious city to visit once in a lifetime.Bangkok Tourism is always a exciting. There are many beaches, exotic delicious food to eat, cabaret shows, Buddha temples, palaces, spa and floating Markets.
    I would like to thank you for sharing these place with us it will be definitely added to my Bangkok trip itinerary..With it i will be visiting many more Bangkok tourist places.
    Even you can take help of these Bangkok travel guide and make your Bangkok trip more exciting and fruitful.

  2. But, once in a while, I have to go on a vacation alone, especially when most of my friends have been to this.

  3. This blog is really helpful regarding all educational knowledge I earned. It covered a great area of subject which can assist a lot of needy people. Everything mentioned here is clear and very useful.
    ราชบุรี ที่ เที่ยว

  4. I am thankful for this blog to gave me much knowledge regarding my area of work. I also want to make some addition on this platform which must be in knowledge of people who really in need. Thanks.
    เรียน ged ที่ไหนดี

  5. Sometime few educational blogs become very helpful while getting relevant and new information related to your targeted area. As I found this blog and appreciate the information delivered to my database.

  6. It is really a helpful blog to find some different source to add my knowledge. I came into aware of new professional blog and I am impressed with suggestions of author.

  7. Share great information about your blog , Blog really helpful for us . We read your blog , share most useful information in blog . Thanks for share your blog here .
    Bangkok Trip

  8. Graceful written content on this blog is really useful for everyone same as I got to know. Difficult to locate relevant and useful informative blog as I found this one to get more knowledge but this is really a nice one.
    ฉีด หน้า เรียว