According to Marcellus Miller, a dialysis patient of 16 years, the Dialysis Unit at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) is in crisis mode and can present a life or death situation for those receiving treatment.
Miller’s cries for help came after the Dialysis Unit at PMH reportedly closed early on Monday, turning away dozens of patients because it was understaffed.
A family also posted on social media Tuesday that their loved one had died as a result of not being able to receive treatment.
“There are not enough nurses in the unit to deal with all of the patients at a certain shift time,” Miller said.
“One of the nurses was there from 4a.m. until 3 p.m. because she did not want to leave so many patients there. Management shut that down because they could not continue to allow that to happen.”
Miller also took issue with the state of the dialysis chairs within the unit, which he said are just as important as the machines. He said the chairs are in a tattered state and they are now unfit for use.
“The unit is in desperate need of chairs, I cannot stress that enough. They are destroyed. If your pressure drops the mechanism in the chair responds to help your body to catch itself,” Miller explained.
While Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands said that he was unaware that the unit was closed early or that patients were turned away, he said the Dialysis Unit like other areas within PMH remain challenged.
Sands noted that it is an area that they are working to address and suggested that the proposed shift system, rejected by the Bahamas Nurses Union, would alleviate some of the challenges at the Unit.
However, a statement issued from PMH denied that the Unit was shut down, but said that patients may be turned away for a number of reasons that range from non-compliance to shortage of staff.