Green dialysis program in Geelong

Tuesday 24 September 2013

By CAHA Convenor, Fiona Armstrong "I had the pleasure of attending the September meeting of the Victorian Green Health Round Table Group this month and was inspired by some of the actions being taken within Victorian hospitals to reduce their environmental footprint and save resources. Individuals from around fifteen major hospital groups met at Barwon Health in Geelong to discuss current initiatives and to hear from Professor John Agar on the world leading green dialysis program run at Barwon Health. Professor Agar shared the success of the green dialysis program, and the Barwon team's contribution to starting the world's literature on eco-dialysis. There are now 30 publications in the health and medical literature about this program. The program began as a nocturnal dialysis program to allow patients to dialyse at home, however the excessive costs associated with water, power and waste that were then borne by patients forced a rethink about how to take a smarter approach to water use and re-use and sourcing cheaper power. The unit now provides the world's first solar powered dialysis system and recycles and reuses reject water from the reverse osmosis system. Patients are sent home with solar panels that cover all the energy requirements of the dialysis machine. A recent publication in Australian Health Review on the carbon footprint of dialysis outlines the carbon footprint of the unit and compares it to other hypothetical units in other states in order to predict the impact of local factors on emissions profiles. In the longer term the team hopes to have a purpose built facility that is eco friendly, eco responsive, and carbon light in order to deliver ecodialysis services to all patients." For more info, see www.greendialysis.org