A dialysis machine.
A dialysis machine.

Cape Town water woes: Dialysis patients at risk

By Noloyiso Mtembu Time of article published Feb 24, 2018

Share this article:

Cape Town - Scores renal patients at Melomed Hospital Gatesville in Athlone are at risk after they were turned away without their dialysis treatment yesterday.

The hospital has been having low water pressure for about two weeks and has been unable to administer treatment to renal failure patients.

Hospital manager Henry Hendricks said at least 50 patients had been affected yesterday when the renal unit, located on the fourth floor of the building, did not have the required pressure to operate dialysis equipment.

Hendricks explained that from the municipal supply, water needed to be pumped up to hospital tanks before it was distributed to various parts of the hospital.

In the case of the renal unit, high pressure was required to operate 13 treatment stations which treat patients 24 hours a day.

He said yesterday the group that was supposed to receive treatment at 4am had to wait until about 8am, thus affecting the following group of patients.

“Our patients rely on public transport or on other people to bring them to hospital.

“If they are turned away without their treatment, that affects them negatively,” he said.

If a dialysis patient does not receive treatment, they accumulate toxins and their condition deteriorates, said Hendricks.

It was not clear yesterday whether other Melomed hospitals in Claremont, Tokai, Mitchells Plain and Bellville were having the same water pressure problems.

Hospital group spokesperson Taryn Fester had not responded at the time of going to print.

The City has introduced Level 6B water restrictions, allowing only 50 litres per resident per day.

[email protected]

Weekend Argus

Share this article: