Needed dialysis center planned for Mooney Blvd.

Diabetes is sixth leading cause of death in Tulare County, which ranks 52 of 58 counties for mortality rates due to diabetes

@TheSunGazette

VISALIA – Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in Tulare County. The medical management of the disease is very costly, and the disease often decreases the quality of life for those who have it.

Tulare County has nearly double the rate for short-term hospitalization and lower limb amputation due to diabetes than the state and has a long-term hospitalization rate that is higher as well. Tulare County ranks 52 of 58 counties for mortality rates due to diabetes.

While most would agree prevention is the best form of medicine for those predisposed to diabetes, that shift can’t happen over night. In the meantime, Tulare County needs more access to dialysis and there will be at least one new facility in Visalia.

At its May 28 meeting, the Visalia Planning Commission approved an 8,500 square foot dialysis center in a former retail shopping space on Mooney Boulevard. Visalia Kidney Center, located at 3446 S. Mooney Blvd., says it will be able to support 21 patients at any one time when it is at full capacity, which may take several years. With three patient care shifts, the clinic will be able to accommodate up to 63 patients per day.

The clinic will primarily serve patients with end stage renal disease, who cannot filter waste by products from their blood. Treatments will last about four hours and each patient will receive three treatments per week. The center will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and will staff about 15 people each day.

In order to convert the space for medical use, Visalia Kidney Center will install an automatic sprinkler system and other fire resistant materials.

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