Dialysis is a life-saving procedure for people with kidney failure. However, it also breaks down protein in muscle fibers and can cause patients to become weak or cripple.
To help dialysis patients improve their strength and mobility, the University of Virginia Health System has developed its Sit Fit program. One of only a few programs of its kind in the country, Sit Fit enables patients to exercise during their dialysis treatment.Dan Bayliss, a physical therapist who works with dialysis patients at UVa, said the peddler has generated significant results. He recalled one patient who didn’t have the strength to lift up her legs. “We started working with her, and she began riding our little peddler,” he said. “About six or seven months later, she was able to walk out of the dialysis unit.”Among the patients who have benefited from the Sit Fit program is George Jordan. Seven months ago, doctors said his legs would need to be amputated. Jordan, however, began using UVa’s special peddler, which allowed him to move his legs similar to how he would if he was peddling a bicycle. Although he sat in a chair for an hour to receive the treatment, his feet were always moving. Now, he’s still able to live alone and can walk several steps.”I feel like this is a big improvement for anyone on dialysis,” Jordan said.(Source: University of Virginia : March 2007.)