Blackouts and damaged machines, the karma of kidney patients in Falcón in western Venezuela

Apagones y máquinas dañadas, el karma de los pacientes renales en Falcón




Dialysis patients in Falcón have been waiting for the repair of some 20 machines for two years. This means that their treatment has been increasingly reduced because the number of patients exceeds the number of available machines.

Irene Revilla // Correspondent

Jorge Luis Ruiz, a kidney patient at the Falcón Nephrology Center, better known as (Ceninfalca), located in Punto Fijo, in north western Venezuela, said that the place regularly serves 67 patients from Monday to Saturday, and as time passes the number of damaged machines increases more and more as a result of the lack of preventive maintenance. They switched from two groups of patients to three and these are only being dialyzed for two hours three times a week.

He said that the need for the machines has caused intermediate shifts to be opened, leaving some patients without treatment, because power failures are also a big concern and problem, as in the the rest of Falcón State, and the dialysis unit does not escape these.

The power plant od the dialysis unit has been damaged for four months and although the patients have sent letters to the Falcón State government, the Carirubana mayor’s office and even the Municipal Council of the same jurisdiction, they have not received any response. “They play with one’s life. They are killing us little by little. Without dialysis, the kidney patient is at risk of dying quickly, because the body is contaminated, the toxins have no escape,” he said.

Although they also looked for specialists to check the machines and find a way to get them operational again, the center’s management did not let them fix the machines, because they had to have permits from the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security (IVSS).

“They are killing us slowly. Of course, my urea and creatinine rise, here I got itchy and tired from not getting all the liquids out. I may faint or have a stroke. There are many people who die and most of them, I assure you, are the result of lack of dialysis and no one worries about that until someone goes to prison for it,” lamented the patient.

In a video shared by kidney patients, you can see the large number of machines put aside nearby that are damaged.