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Issues in PHE water quality hit dialysis unit of Shillong CH

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, May 15: Issues in the quality of water supplied by the PHE rendered the Reverse Osmosis (RO) machine at the Dialysis Unit of Civil Hospital, Shillong, non-functional for almost a week, while also leaving several patients in a fix.
Dr Lumlang Bhuphang, Surgeon Superintendent of Civil Hospital, explaining the role of a RO machine, said, “It was not that the entire machine had broken down, but the RO machine, without which the dialysis cannot work.”
The RO is a specialised water treatment system that generates high-quality water for dialysis operations. These systems use filtration and purification processes to remove pollutants, toxins, and germs from water, ensuring that they fulfill strict quality standards for dialysis use.
The RO machine, integral to the unit’s operations, is essential for ensuring the quality of water used in dialysis procedures.
Dr Bhuphang elaborated, “You are aware of the water quality in Shillong, which is not up to standard. Consequently, our RO machines are required to purify the contaminated water, producing the high-quality water necessary for dialysis. The presence of impurities in the water significantly impacts the filtration rate of the RO, necessitating frequent maintenance. This, in turn, affects the effectiveness of dialysis treatments for patients.”
The RO machine was repaired by an external engineer and it resumed functioning on Friday, as confirmed by Dr Katherina Marbaniang, Medical Specialist In-charge of the Dialysis Unit.
Responding to media reports suggesting the unit’s non-functionality, hospital authorities issued a clarification, assuring the public of its operational status and the availability of dialysis facilities. Health Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh visited the unit on Saturday to assess the situation and pledged to address equipment issues and potentially expand the unit’s capacity. Currently, out of six dialysis machines, four are operational.
Regarding the discussion with the Health Minister, Bhupang stated, “She promised to look into the matter of increasing the capacity of the dialysis unit. Currently, out of the six machines, only four are operational. We are awaiting the engineer and the authorized personnel to service the remaining two machines.”
The hospital is also looking to increase the bed capacity for dialysis patients. However, it is short on manpower, with just four staff nurses and technicians each, and two in-charge nurses, confirmed Dr Marbaniang.
Despite plans to augment bed capacity for dialysis patients, staffing shortages pose a challenge, with only a limited number of nurses and technicians available to manage operations round the clock.
Dr Marbaniang stressed the need for additional manpower if bed capacity is increased.

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