Renal Dialysis Challenge to rival Tour Down Under

Friday, 16 January 2019

Cyclists in the Tour Down Under won’t be the only ones clocking up the kilometres this month with the inaugural Renal Dialysis Cycling Challenge being held across several Country Health SA hospitals.

Country Health SA’s (CHSA) Executive Director Medical Services, Dr Hendrika Meyer, said pedal machines will be used by dialysis patients to encourage exercise and improve strength and blood circulation.

“Most haemodialysis patients undertake stationary treatment three times per week, and these sessions involve sitting in the dialysis chair for between four to five hours,” Dr Meyer said.

“This January, to aid with restless legs during dialysis treatment and help improve mental health, we’re holding our very first competition which will also provide a welcome distraction during treatment.

“The pedal machines, funded last year as part of The Hospital Research Foundation’s (THRF) $400,000 grant, provide dialysis patients the opportunity to increase their physical activity.”

Dialysis units taking part in the Renal Dialysis Cycling Challenge this year include Berri, Ceduna, Clare, Gawler, Maitland, Murray Bridge, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln, Port Pirie, Victor Harbor and Whyalla.

CHSA Renal Rural Nurse Consultant, Amanda Biddle, said there are currently about 190 patients receiving dialysis treatment in country hospitals across the state, and all have been invited to be involved in the competition.

“This competition is about helping provide an incentive for patients to incorporate exercise into their dialysis time and develop good habits that will continue on into the future,” Ms Biddle said.

“We will keep track of each patient’s distance over one month which will also allow the patients to have a visual reminder of their hard work and encourage them to pedal as much as possible.

“We have prizes for patients involved, including an official jersey donated by the Tour Down Under to be awarded to the patient who travels the longest distance overall.

“The unit which travel the longest combined distance will have an afternoon tea with a guest speaker at their hospital thanks to THRF, as well as receiving a Perpetual Shield for the unit to display for the year.”

The Renal Dialysis Cycling Challenge is currently being held until Saturday, 2 February 2019.

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