TEN days after being closed down, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) on Monday partially opened its Out-Patient Hemodialysis Center in Quezon City in order to treat patients, especially emergency cases.

Speaking at a press conference in Manila, NKTI Director Dr. Jose Dante Dator said they have decided to re-open their Out-Patient Hemodialysis Center after they were able to replace all the possible sources of the chills experienced by their patients.

"We are doing partial or limited operations of the out-patient hemodialysis center. We have been doing hemodialysis among patients that are urgently in need," said Dator.

He said replacing all their equipment and supplies removes the possibility of more patients suffering from chills.

"All of these supplies have been changed and we have been doing limited hemodialysis with the equivalent of these supplies… We have already changed all the potential sources (of infections)," he said.

With their partial operations, NKTI spokesman Dr. Ricardo Jose Quintos said they are only using 20 out of the 31 hemodialysis machines for two shifts instead of the usual four.

"That is a little more than 50 percent operation… (the operation has been) very smooth sailing. There were no adverse effects. And many of the patients have successfully completed their sessions," he added.

Quintos said they are already looking forward to going back to full operations once they receive clearance to do so.

"We are hoping to catch our deadline of June 12. But give us until June 13, baka maka-full operation na tayo,” said Quintos.

Last May 30, the NKTI temporary stopped the operations of its Out-Patient Hemodialysis Center after 44 patients out of the possible 360 had complained of chills beginning May 28.

The temporary shutdown was called in order to ensure the safety of the patients as well as to enable the hospital to conduct an investigation on what could have caused the chills.

As to the results of their investigation, Dator said that they have trimmed the possible source of infection to two medicine brands that they are using for hemodialysis.

"In our investigation, we found out that our supplies used in dialysis treatment may possibly have connection with what was experienced by some of our patients. We are using two medicines for hemodialysis… these are the possibilities we are looking at," said Dator.

Other possible causes of the chills that were looked into by the NKTI are probable contamination of their water source, water culture, blood culture, disinfectants, dialyzer and filters, among others.

While refusing to disclose the concerned medicine brands, Dator said they have long been using the said medicines and that it was the first time that such a reaction on patients happened.

And in order to confirm their findings, the NKTI has decided to tap the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in an attempt to validate the results of their investigation.

"This is to ensure everyone that whatever results that will come out, it will not be biased to one party only. That there is an external agency involved, which is the FDA," said Quintos. (HDT/Sunnex)