Staff Reporter

KOCHI: With an increasing number of patients with kidney diseases, also a fallout of diabetes, the numbers needing the treatment are far more than the dialysis machines available in hospitals here.

About 12 hospitals do dialysis in Ernakulam and with each machine doing a maximum of four to five dialyses a day, it is not able to cater to the needs of all those who require treatment. According to rough estimates, there are about 3,000 patients in the district alone. As the patients are unable to pass urine, missing out a dialysis becomes very painful for them to bear with vomiting sensation, swelling of the body and asthmatic attacks.

The patients also have to have a strict control over what they eat and drink. Their daily intake of water in any form should not exceed 300 ml. Besides, one has to check the measure of a number of minerals like iron, potassium, urea, sodium, calcium and haemoglobin regularly through blood tests and control the level of these minerals through diet. This maintenance of balance of minerals and water is done automatically by a functioning kidney. Complicating the kidney dysfunction may be an infection through the use of the same machine that has been used by a patient who may have HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection.