I have just returned from the Renal Society of Australia’s annual conference, held on June 20 t0 22 this year at the Gold Coast, Queensland. The conference is for renal professionals, nurses, clinicians, doctors and consultants. I went along because I was a co-author on one of the presentations.
The other author and presenter was Julie Tondello, a renal Associate Nurse Unit Manager at my Diaverum dialysis clinic in Diamond Valley, Victoria. The paper was called “Can your fistula rupture?” and was triggered by the ongoing posts, comments and queries about fistula rupture deaths on this blog.
As noted many times in the blog, the biggest problem with fistula ruptures are: lack of awareness that it can happen, how to prevent it and what to do if it happens. Julie and the Diaverum team decided that they should do something to remedy this situation.
They conducted quality surveys to test the level of awareness of patients and staff in two clinics and found the lack of awareness, especially amongst patients, to be very real. Awareness was much better amongst staff, but there was still room for improvement.
Julie then developed a training course for patients and trained over 40 individually. During the training, even long term patients said they were completely unaware of the problem or how to react and felt empowered by their new knowledge.
Diaverum then re-surveyed the patients. The result was an overwhelming improvement in patient awareness. Staff training will follow the same process.
Julie’s presentation, inexpertly videoed by me, is below. It was an excellent, well researched and inspiring presentation that won an extended ovation. It subsequently won both the Best Advanced Paper and the People’s Choice Award as the for best presentation at the conference.
The next step will be for Diaverum to make the training course and materials available online for patients world-wide, to learn about and prevent these terrible ruptures. Watch this space!