BROOKLYN, N.Y., Dec. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kidney disease is a chronic, life-threatening condition that requires constant care and which, if not managed properly, can lead to a myriad of serious illnesses and even death. Here in Brooklyn, it is particularly concerning due to the large number of residents with many of the prerequisites that can lead to kidney failure, including high blood pressure, diabetes, advanced age and a family history of kidney disease. Now, NYU Lutheran Medical Center is taking major steps forward to strengthen this growing clinical area.
"The kidney is such a complex organ that affects and is affected by so many other areas of the body," says nephrologist Elizabeth S. Hammer, MD, who recently joined NYU Lutheran as the new director of its dialysis unit. "You really have to know and understand the entire body to thoroughly care for the kidney."
When kidneys fail, dialysis is a treatment that uses advanced mechanical equipment to do their work, filtering waste and fluids from the blood and restoring the body's proper mineral balance. The procedure can take a few hours, and patients may need dialysis treatments three to five times per week.
"Our goal is not only to make dialysis at NYU Lutheran a more comprehensive program, but also emphasize patient safety and quality," says Hammer. "We also want to provide dialysis in the most comfortable and pleasing environment, given that patients are receiving treatment for several hours and several days a week."
"The NYU Lutheran community deserves the highest quality dialysis care available," says Edward Y. Skolnik, MD, Norman S. Wikler Professor of Medicine and director of the nephrology division at NYU Langone Medical Center. "Research and clinical breakthroughs have enriched our understanding of nephrology at a molecular level, which enables us to directly address specific causes of kidney disease with targeted therapies. We're bringing that innovation to NYU Lutheran and building on a record of excellence."
According to the National Kidney Foundation, approximately 26 million Americans have kidney disease – and most don't know it. Currently, more than 460,000 are on kidney dialysis, and almost 50,000 die each year from kidney disease. Kidney failure also is 3 ½ times more likely to occur in African-Americans and 1 ½ times more likely in Hispanics.
With chronic kidney disease on the rise in the United States, Hammer points out that the demand for high-quality dialysis care will only continue to grow. "With some patients waiting as long as seven years for a transplant, dialysis is a critical treatment for kidney disease patients," she says. "Dialysis is a life-saving intervention, and our ultimate goal is make it as safe and as pleasant an experience as we can for our patients."
Dialysis patients at NYU Lutheran also have an added advantage of the program's close ties to the Transplant Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, headed by world-renowned transplant surgeon Robert Montgomery, MD. If a dialysis patient at NYU Lutheran is waiting to receive a kidney from a family member or friend, or if they are on a donor waiting list, they can have their surgery within the NYU Langone health system.
Hammer earned her medical degree from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and completed her residency training at NYU School of Medicine. She also completed fellowship training in Nephrology at Mount Sinai.
Joseph M. Weisstuch, MD, chief medical officer at NYU Lutheran, says, "Patients expect the highest quality of care when they come to NYU Lutheran Medical Center, and that's what we aim to deliver. We want our dialysis patients to be comfortable at NYU Lutheran, and we're taking major steps towards offering the best care available in Brooklyn."
Contacts: Neal Gorman
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SOURCE NYU Lutheran Medical Center