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Exploring Engineering Solutions in the Hope of Improving Dialysis Care

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Background: This study investigated aspects of dialysis care which are often neglected. It looked at patient comfort and aspects of treatment that patients would like to see improved which were amenable to an engineering solution.

Methods: The results were obtained from 12 patients at the Scarborough General Hospital’s Dialysis Center, located at 78 Corporate Drive, Scarborough, Ontario.

Results: The significant areas of concern identified were discomfort, waiting times and blood clotting, with 7/12 patients indicating distress associated with treatment, 7/12 patients expressing discontent with current waiting times and 8/11 patients reporting instances of blood clotting.

Conclusion: Novel methods to combat blood clotting and alleviate the discomfort associated with vascular access are proposed. In order to address concerns with waiting times and blood clotting, an integrated polymer based solution was developed. This approach is based on the multitude of properties achievable with the combination of polymers into a film and the surface modifier antithrombin-heparin (ATH) covalent complex. By utilizing a self-assembling and degradable film deposited as a coating on the portion of dialysis units which come into contact with a patient’s blood, the disinfecting and cleaning operations can be greatly improved while reducing the possibility of thrombotic complications. The interface method proposed is a novel approach to vascular access intended to alleviate patient discomfort with needles.

23 Mar, 2015
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e-Published: 17 Jul, 2015
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