The Grenada National Patients Kidney Foundation sourced a much needed, Automated External Defibrillator (AED), through the Sandals Foundation, which was recently handed over to Grenada’s only renal care facility, Island Health Services (IHS) in St George’s.
Some 17 current patients, and an additional 80 potential patients (on their official monitoring list) can benefit from this lifesaving equipment, if the need should ever arise, due to a more than EC$4,000 donation from the Sandals Foundation.
Chronic Kidney Disease is reported to affect 1 in 10 people worldwide and involves the progressive loss of the kidney’s function over months and years.
The Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a portable, life-saving device designed to treat people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest — a medical condition in which the heart suddenly stops beating. The machine quickly analyses the irregular or paused heartbeat of a patient and automatically applies electricity, if needed, to stop the irregularity and allow the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm.
In accepting the defibrillator, Daniel Richardson, Dialysis Technician and Facilities Administrator of Island Health Services affirmed, “We are now better equipped to assist our patients in case of an emergency. Renal disease is linked to so many other illnesses and it is our duty to be prepared for the worst and the unexpected.”
“This defibrillator,” Richardson continued, “could mean life or death in case of an emergency. As we have seen throughout our years of medical service, every second counts. So we are thankful our facility now owns this lifesaving device.”
And in an impassioned expression of gratitude, Ann Hopkin, representative for the Grenada National Patients Kidney Foundation said, “This very special needed donation may seem simple but it means so much more.”
Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at the Sandals Foundation said the organisation is proud to partner with the Kidney Foundation to enhance patient care. “Our health is our greatest asset and must be protected and preserved in any way we can. The treatment of chronic kidney disease comes at a very high cost and requires specialty tools. The Sandals Foundation is in a unique position that allows us to use our resources to meet the needs within the communities and countries that we serve and we are happy to be able to support the health services within Grenada and patients that need this facility.”
A major component of the partnership, Clarke notes is the increased public education programme which will be executed to empower Grenadians to make healthier lifestyle choices to reduce their risk of the disease.
“We fully support the efforts of the Kidney Foundation to provide coping skills to patients and families of patients who manage the disease. Equally important is the ability to slow down the number of people affected by the disease of which primary healthcare education will be crucial.”