Supply glitch closes GMH Hemodialysis Unit - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Supply glitch closes GMH Hemodialysis Unit

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - A supply shipment issue has forced the Guam Memorial Hospital to temporarily close its Outpatient Hemodialysis Unit for two weeks, effective yesterday. As a result, affected patients are forced to go to private centers for treatment.

Guam's only public hospital was notified recently that six containers carrying much-needed supplies were lost while more damaged. According to GMH Spokesperson Connor Murphy, a horizon lines ship bound for Guam lost the items during a storm at sea last month. "Right now, what they're doing, I believe, is finding out exactly what was lost and damaged. They're inspecting each container," he said.

Because they don't have enough supplies to go around, affected patients have been accommodated at one of three private dialysis centers on island, including the Guam Dialysis Center, Guam Renal Care and Renal Care of Guam.  Said Murphy, "We have another order already on its way to us from another vendor and it could take up to two weeks to get here. So we're forced to suspend our outpatient dialysis unit until we have that solution. We have enough on stock to keep the Inpatient Unit open."

GMH currently offers services to about 43 patients on an outpatient basis.  "We already have an emergency plan in place for times just like this, so three private dialysis centers have agreed to take our patients until we can get our unit open. So what we're doing right now is working with each patient to find one of the three that's best for them, arrange transportation for them and things like that," he said.

In the meantime, Murphy says the care of patients will not be interrupted and will still be overseen by the same doctors, noting, "We are definitely going to resume services once we receive the solution. We do apologize to the patients. It's unfortunately out of our control. We want to help them and make sure this is a little of a burden to them as possible and to make sure their care is of our priority and make sure that is not interrupted."

For more information, contact GMH at 647-2237/2429.

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