If you or a family member has renal disease, you know how difficult it can be to make visits to the hospital for in-centre hemodialysis every second day. There are alternatives to this treatment, including three types of dialysis that can be performed at home. At home, patients are better able to fit the dialysis into their schedules and may feel more comfortable in familiar surroundings.
The three types of home dialysis are:
• Conventional home hemodialysis, which happens three times a week for three or more hours each time.
• Short daily hemodialysis, performed five to seven times a week for two hours at a time.
• Nocturnal peritoneal dialysis, which is long, slow dialysis performed while you sleep.
Home dialysis requires a care partner, so you may want to engage a trained personal support worker from an agency that offers in-home dialysis services.
In-Home Dialysis Services
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a slow
condition, but it is progressive. At some point, people with CKD will begin to
experience severe symptoms or their kidney function will drop below 15%. When
this occurs, patients will need either a kidney transplant or frequent
dialysis, or cleansing of the blood. The good news is that transplants are now
fairly routine surgical procedures, and even if you don’t get a transplant, you
can live for decades on dialysis.
Dialysis at Home
Before beginning dialysis, you will need
surgery in order to place a tube in your abdomen, or to allow vascular access,
depending on the type of dialysis you’ve chosen. Peritoneal Dialysis, or PD, is a home option. Hemodialysis can be performed at a hospital or clinic, or at home.
The most common type of PD is performed with
a machine called a cycler. Patients connect to the cycler in the evening, and
it works during sleep. Home hemodialysis has two forms, conventional or short. Hemodialysis
requires the help of a trained care partner. These two types of dialysis differ
in frequency and duration.
Consult with your doctor to find out what the
best approach is for dealing with your renal problems.