Dialysis Facilities in Micronesia?

The US government is researching the possibility of setting up dialysis facilities in the three COFA nations.

The Department of Interior is heading the study to determine the likelihood of having these facilities in the islands. This research is in response to growing concerns over high costs of dialysis treatments by US states for COFA patients.

In 2009, the Lingle administration in Hawaii reduced healthcare coverage for COFA citizens because of economic difficulties. Important services such as dialysis and chemotherapy were no longer covered. This reduction was considered a "death sentence" to 110 dialysis patients who relied on weekly treatments. Fortunately, the Federal District Court found the reductions unconstitutional under equal protection.

The government of Taiwan donated dialysis machines to the Majuro hospital. These machines were never put to use. Taiwan medical authorities explained that the use of the machines in Majuro was impractical.

Research to have dialysis facilities are ongoing in Palau, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Kosrae and Majuro.

What is Dialysis?
"1: the separation of substances in solution by means of their unequal diffusion through semipermeable membranes; especially : such a separation of colloids from soluble substances 2: either of two medical procedures to remove wastes or toxins from the blood and adjust fluid and electrolyte imbalances by utilizing rates at which substances diffuse through a semipermeable membrane: a: the process of removing blood from an artery (as of a kidney patient), purifying it by dialysis, adding vital substances, and returning it to a vein—called also hemodialysis b: a procedure performed in the peritoneal cavity in which the peritoneum acts as the semipermeable membrane—called also peritoneal dialysis".

In short, dialysis machines serve as artificial kidneys when a patient's kidneys are unable to filter wastes from the blood. The patient's blood enters a machine (dialyser) that essentially cleans the blood, then the blood is returned to the body. This procedure takes several hours and must be repeated weekly.

1. "The Case for Justice for Micronesians in Hawaii".
2. "US Considers Dialysis Facilities for Micronesia".
3. Medical Dictionary. "Dialysis".