Renal Care Gift

Napa Active 20-30 Club Gets It Together

On the evening of the Active 20-30 Club’s semi-annual dinner dance, two of the club’s members took the time to visit a third member.

Attorney David Gaw and Realtor Scott Brown stopped at Queen of the Valley Hospital to Visit Marvis Ernest, a patient of the Renal Care Unit.

That day Marvis had spent six hours of dialysis on the artificial kidney machine. He told his visitors how his treatment had been facilitated by use of a new uni-puncture machine, the only machine available to kidney patients at that time.

Gaw and Brown went on to the dance, where they took some more time to communicate their new awareness of the complicated treatments face by victims of kidney disease. The next morning, they called Marvis at the Queen and told him people at the dance had pledged enough money to provide another uni-puncture machine for the hospital.

Several days later, club president, Adrian Fenderson, D.D.S., Gaw, Brown, and Ernest presented Queen of the Valley Hospital Foundation with a check in the amount of $750. The new machine has been ordered.

The Active 20-30 Club of Napa is to be congratulated for reacting so generously and spontaneously to an area of patient care worthy of much more public attention.

Doctors tells us that bones can break, muscles can atrophy, glands can loaf and even the brain can go to sleep without immediate danger to survival. But should the kidneys fail, neither bones, muscles, gland nor brain could carry on.

We are also informed that over 8 million Americans suffer with kidney-related diseases. It is the fourth greatest health problem in the nation today.

Over 60,000 men, women, and children die in this country each year, from some form of disease of the kidneys. Over 3 million Americans have an unrecognized and undiagnosed disease of the kidneys.

Fortunately, medical scientists have concentrated their attention more and more on the kidneys in recent years and progress has been made in diagnosis, treatment and therapy. More can be done for the victims of kidney disease today than has ever been possible before.

One of the most serious disorders is acute kidney shutdown. The shutdown can be caused by systemic disfunctions or by crushing type accidents as might be incurred in an automobile mishap. None of us are immune to such happenstance.

Until recently, no person in the city and county of Napa, or Solano County, or parts of Lake, Sonoma or Sacramento counties could receive treatments to carry out those functions ordinarily performed by the kidneys without traveling to Sacramento., the immediate Bay Area, or Santa Rosa.

These treatments involve the use of an artificial kidney, or dialysis machine, and often involve daily treatments and procedures of six hours. Costs, travel and human suffering caused these treatments, in many cases, to be prohibitive. Quite simply, people died.

In May, 1974, the only renal care unit to serve patients in these areas was established at Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa. The unit functions as a satellite of Sandford University Medical Center in Palo Alto. It opened with three dialysis machines. It now has four such machines, could use one more, and is available for chronic and acute dialysis 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The unit can treat six or seven patients daily. It provided 125 treatments in June of this year, and 927 treatments in its first year of operation.

Obviously, as the hospital can provide more and improved equipment, the unit can increase its capacity to serve a larger area. Unfortunately, hospital re-imbursements through Medicare and Medi-cal cannot compensate the cost of treatment. Consequently, equipment needs are most often met through funds which find their way to the hospital through the effort and generosity of concerned individuals and organizations such as the Napa Active 20-30 Club.

“Renal Care Gift,” Active 20-30, October / November 1975, vol. 14, no. 2, p. 4-5.

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