This week for work faith and I were in the hemodialysis department. Something we noticed about the hemodialysis department is how many patients they have. St. Cabrini has only 100 beds and 20 of those beds are for hemodialysis patients, and they have three sessions of dialysis every day. in fact, CKD (chronic kidney disease) is the highest cause of death in the Philippines. the reason for this is because of their diet, drinking, and smoking. Much of the food here in the Philippines has a high amount of sodium in it which over a long period of time, causes kidney damage.
at the dialysis department, Faith and I started off learning how the dialysis machines are prepped for each patient. something we noticed is that each patient has a dialyzer which acts as a filter for the blood of patients with kidney damage. in the US, the dialyzers are disposable but here in the Philippines, they hand clean them after each patient use, and they throw them away after 10 uses. i was taught how to clean them and basically water is shot through the filter and then we used a toothbrush to clean the sides and finally the dialyzer gets filled with an antibiotic and left there until the next time that patient needs dialysis (usually 2-3 days).
towards the end of the week faith and I followed around some of the nurses and learned how to canulate the patients, which is basically inserting 2 big needles (15G) into their fistula so their blood can get taken out, filtered, and replaced. they let faith and I canulate some patients and also give them a subcutaneous injection to increase their hemoglobin which gets low due to the dialysis treatment. This week at hemodialysis was different than the other departments because we didn’t always have something to do. most dialysis treatments are 4 hours long, so while each patient was receiving their treatment we pretty much just waited until it was time to unhook them and get ready for the next patient.
after work on Friday, Hunter, one of the FNRI interns came down from manila to spend the weekend with us. on Friday night we all went to the neighborhood where we met a bunch of people and watched some live music. Afterwords, we followed some people we met to what they called “the best club in town” and while we were there, we met a ton of other people and they all wanted to take a picture with us. there was karaoke and a ton of music.
on Saturday, all three of us planned to Tagaytay which is a touristy town west of us and while we were there we went to a “sky ranch” which is pretty much an amusement park, but it was on a cliff right next to the Taal volcano. which is the most active volcano in the Philippines. the park had a big Feris wheel and behind it we could see the volcano emitting sulfur. after the sky ranch, we went to a really nice steakhouse that overlooked the water and after that we rode a trike for an hour all the way home.
on Sunday the three of us went to a mall in Calamba which is like 30 minutes away where we ate at a Korean BBQ restaurant and made our own food at our table. After the BBQ all three of us got a Filipino massage. from there Hunter went back to manila and faith and i got ready for next week where we will be at the general ward preparing for a case study that we have to present in front of the whole hospital faculty.