by Steven Noble

What Does VIKPA Do?

Renal patients are long-term patients enduring regular life-saving dialysis sessions and often frequent hospital stays. Items that may otherwise seem like luxuries are often essential to maintain patient morale while undergoing these extended treatments. The following are just some of the areas that VIKPA volunteers are funding have an impact on the quality of life for patients and their families:

  • TV sets at each patient dialysis station and most waiting room
  • Hospital equipment
  • Patient needs
  • Patient advocacy
  • Members sit on hospital committees
  • Bursary

Patient Comfort Items

VIKPA funds patient comforts that can make arduous and frequent treatments easier:
The provision of television sets to renal units for patients on kidney dialysis machines (usually three sessions a week, four hours each time).

  • Dialysis chairs, small tables
  • Ice machine
  • TV sets, some with VCR’s
  • A patient cordless phone for Royal Jubilee Hospital Royal One (the renal ward) and the Victoria Community Dialysis Facility so patients can maintain contact with their families while hospitalized.
  • Bookcases and patient library materials, coffee machines, microwaves and refrigerators for patient food preparation.
  • Coat racks for renal clinics.

Hospital Equipment

VIKPA funds hospital equipment and major equipment purchases for patient care that may not be normally provided to assist in timely patient treatment.

  • Vascular Access Ultrasound Scanner (a portable ultrasound scanner specifically design to aid physicians when guiding needles for inserting a central venous catheter for hemodialysis when the normal graft is either not present or not ready for use). This greatly reduces the chances for physician error, thereby increasing patient comfort.
  • Transonic Hemodialysis Monitor Package that measures discrepancies in bloodflow during hemodialysis that can help prevent emergency surgeries on the vascular access. This reduces hospital emergency surgeries and reduces patient anxiety.
  • 2 Stryker Beds.
  • Bladder Scanner.
  • IV infusion pumps.
  • Defibrillators for all Island satellite dialysis units.

Patient Needs

VIKPA provides the Social Workers a fund to allow for the facilitation of various patient needs as and when
required. VIKPA recently increased the fund to cover the needs of up island patient’s travelling needs.

VIKPA also funds an Easter and Christmas gift certificate program for those deemed to be in need by the social workers. VIKPA funds items that allow patients to have what others can normally provide for themselves: As well all patients are provided small gifts at Easter and Christmas.

Bursaries that can allow patients to obtain higher education. Many renal patients have had to put their lives on hold while awaiting treatments.

Patient Advocacy

VIKPA advocates for the needs of renal patients on Vancouver Island.

  • VIKPA volunteers serve on hospital advisory committees.
  • VIKPA is operated by volunteers that are primarily renal patients themselves.
  • VIKPA voluntarily funds patient comforts and hospital equipment that may otherwise not be available.
  • Funding can only take place when monies are available and at the discretion of the Association.