Dialysis Treatment Options
It is important for you to be aware of various treatment modalities available for you after you are diagnosed with kidney disease needing dialysis for long time. Your lifestyle, your freedom to choose the type of treatment you need, your flexibility from work place, etc.
Outpatient dialysis treatments are one of the popular types of treatments, meaning you are getting your hemodialysis treatment at a center on a regular schedule along with other patients mostly sitting on a chair in a hall for three to four hours depending on the physician’s order. The important factor to consider for this type of treatments are the distance to travel to the clinic from your place of residence, need to drive to your clinic or depend on someone who may volunteer to give you a ride every other day to and back from the clinic on a fixed time, or depend on public transport, the availability of the time slot and the days you need. This may not be a best option for you if you are looking for flexibility in your schedule.
Home Dialysis Self-Administered
This option may be your choice if you don’t like to leave the comfort of your home environment to get three to four hours of treatment at a distant facility and wait there for another one hour to be called in. You and your care partner will be given education and training at a center to self-administer hemodialysis at home using a machine of your choice. The following are the criteria for you to qualify for home hemodialysis.
You need to have an established access such as a functioning AV fistula or a functioning AV graft and not any other ports like a catheter.
You and your care partner should complete required training by a dialysis nurse for the performance of self-administered dialysis.
The care partner should be present with you during the whole time of treatment.
Peritoneal dialysis is done at home and the treatment should be performed by the patient daily. Typically, the duration of treatment is eight to ten hours based on your nephrologist’s order. It can be performed during day or night or depending on your choice. A dialysis nurse will give you training on a user-friendly machine for three to four weeks to enable you to perform treatment at home. You will be visiting the clinic, or your care team will visit you at your place of residence once a month to discuss the progress of your treatment. A surgeon will insert a PD catheter into your abdomen and this catheter should stay intact to perform the treatment daily. The PD catheter should be free of infections all time.
Staff Assisted Home Hemodialysis
A qualified dialysis nurse will perform hemodialysis at your home which will give you more comfort and is a one-on-one treatment. Staff Assisted Home Hemodialysis gives the privacy and safety of your own home or place of residence. Your dialysis care team will meet you either at your home or at the clinic on a monthly basis to discuss the progress of the treatment.
The advantages of this type of treatments are the following:
No need of a care partner and you feel safe because a qualified dialysis nurse is performing the treatment according to your nephrologist’s order.
Machine setup, dialysate preparation, cannulation to initiate treatments are all done by the nurse.
You have the flexibility to work with your nurse for your schedules.
While every dialysis patients do not qualify for Staff Assisted Home Hemodialysis, patients who are on staff assisted home hemodialysis have improved quality of life, better outcomes and less stress during dialysis treatments. You can use available time to do better things in your life.