"Environmental Issue" closes dialysis center in Petersburg

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) – DaVita Appomattox Dialysis Center in Petersburg is temporarily closing its doors and suspending patient care. The move comes after regulators found a problem with the center's water filtration system.

NBC12 spoke with one patient who showed up at the dialysis center for treatment Thursday morning but was sent to another clinic.

Jeannette Harrison began dialysis treatment a month ago. She's adamant about not missing a session.

"If I want to live I've got to make sure I get my treatment," said Harrison.

Harrison wasn't aware that the treatment center is now closed.

"When I came in they said they moved it to Hopewell," said Harrison.

Patient care has also been suspended at DaVita Dialysis Center.

"We transferred all of our patients to neighboring clinics while we check out and verify if we can safely provide care here at this facility," said Jeffrey Custer, Regional Operations Director for DaVita.

During a re-certification inspection this week -- state regulators found some kind of problem with the center's water filtration system.

"We haven't found out what the exact problem is yet which is why we wanted to shut down operations," said Custer.

The center has brought in a team of bio-medical engineers. The team is now testing the water and equipment.

"We're just starting with where the water comes in from the city to the point where it gets into the dialysis machines. We're checking it from start to finish to make sure the water system in the machines are 100% safe," said Custer.

DaVita doesn't expect to reopen it's doors or treat patients again for at least three weeks.

"We're committed to being closed as long as it takes to figure out what the problem is," said Custer.

As for Harrison, she's not happy about having to travel a greater distance for her dialysis treatments but, she says she understands.

"It's something I got to do. If that's what it takes -- you know, things happen," said Harrison.

The re-certification survey is to make sure the center meets federal standards. In this case, regulators say, they found the center to be deficient. DaVita says it will pinpoint and correct the problem.

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