Far West LHD hosts Renal Supportive Care Symposium

The Far West Local Health District’s Renal Services, Palliative Care and Chronic and Complex Care Services are holding the Better Value Healthcare Renal Supportive Care Symposium on 15-16 June in Broken Hill.

Special guests from the Renal Supportive Care (RSC) Team at St George Hospital will be speaking at this event. The guests include:

Dr Frank Brennan – Palliative Care Physician based at Calvary, St George and Sutherland Hospitals.

Elizabeth Josland – Renal Supportive Care Clinical Nurse Consultant at St George Hospital.

Alison Smyth – Renal Supportive Care CNC at St George Hospital.

Hannah Burgess – Renal Supportive Care Hub Social Worker at St George Hospital.

Jessica Stevenson – Renal Supportive Care Dietitian at St George Hospital.

The Symposium will provide specialist Renal Supportive Care education for Far West LHD staff and health partners, including GP’s practice nurses and Maari Ma, said Ms Penny Griffin, Clinical Nurse Consultant Renal Services, Far West LHD.

Ms Griffin said the Symposium will provide a greater understanding of the progression of renal disease and symptom management, which will enable the staff to better care for our patients. “Research into Renal Supportive Care is emerging that this is the area of greatest need in caring for Australians with renal impairments to provide quality of life versus survival.”

She said one of the main topics will cover RSC programs that encompass holistic and palliative care to address symptom burden and quality of life, so that patients at a later or end stage kidney disease will experience improved end of life care.

“Patients with end stage kidney disease (ESKD), with or without renal replacement therapy (RRT), are heavily burdened with symptoms that may interact and compound each other,” she said.

“A ‘conservative’ or ‘not for dialysis’ pathway is an important option for the management of end stage kidney disease patient, especially who are elderly, have significant comorbidity, poor functional status, malnutrition or who reside in a nursing home,” she said.

“A ‘non dialysis renal supportive program is a very positive way of offering holistic care for patients and their families, many of whom, live much longer without dialysis than might have been expected.”

Survival on dialysis for an average 60 year old patient is worse than most cancers. The Cancer Council of Australia show the overall 5 year survival rates for prostate cancer are 92%, breast cancer 89%, renal cancer 72%, bowel cancer 66%, ovarian cancer 43% and lung cancer less than 14%. ANZDATA show that a 5 year survival rate on dialysis in Australia is 60% for patients aged 45-64, 40% for those aged 65-74 and 25% for those aged 75-84. Overall heart failure survival is similar or better than the above dialysis survival rates.

Elderly ESKD patients who commence dialysis in Australia have considerable comorbid burden, 70% with cardiovascular disease, 60% coronary artery disease, 33% with peripheral vascular disease and 24% with cerebrovascular disease.

The symposium will be held on both days at Thyme on Argent.

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