(The Care and Feeding of Your Dialysis Access) By Dr. Steve Curtiss Problems with dialysis access are a leading cause of complications and hospitalizations of patients with kidney disease. The more patients understand about their access, the more they are empowered and can become an important part of the healthcare team, which leads to an improved quality of life by staying out of the hospital and having efficient dialysis. It is also important for patients not yet on dialysis to understand the types of dialysis access available so they can be prepared and make informed choices about dialysis access when [...]
Kidneys perform crucial functions within the body. When they fail there are only four treatment pathways available: Hemodialysis uses a dialyzer to act as an artificial kidney, peritoneal dialysis uses the body's own abdominal lining to filter wastes, a transplant comes from a living or deceased donor and palliative care is a strategy that aims to prevent stress and reduce pain at the end of life. Without hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis or a transplant, individuals with failing kidneys will die. Hemodialysis (HD)—Cleansing a patient’s blood of harmful toxins and excess fluids through use of an artificial kidney (dialyzer) and hemodialysis machine. [...]
Bloodstream infections are the second leading cause of death for hemodialysis patients. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) prevention tools, also called the Core Interventions, provide dialysis facilities with a guide on how to prevent bloodstream infections. A recent study found that dialysis facilities that implemented CDC’s infection prevention tools such as improving staff hygiene and increasing patient education on better catheter maintenance, had a 44 percent decrease in bloodstream infections for patients. These resources are free and available to anyone on the CDC’s website.
Education Manager & Nephrology Nurse Joanne Smith Provides Education on Treatment Options for Kidney Patients
On April 9, Education Manager Joanne Smith hosted an educational conference call and webinar on treatment options for kidney patients. Smith has been a nephrology nurse for 32 years, and provides in-home training to patients on peritoneal and hemodialysis. Click here to listen to a recording of the call and view the accompanying Powerpoint slides.
Children with kidney failure have a few options to choose from, depending on the severity of their disease. The primary goal is to have a successful transplant, however viable kidneys are not always available and some children are not strong candidates for transplants. In some cases a nephrectomy is a solution that can make childhood disease easier to manage. In most cases parents choose home dialysis options either home hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. Transplants In adults, most transplanted kidneys come from donors who have just perished. However, about half of the kidney transplants in children come from a living donor, usually a [...]
While many people learn suddenly that they have kidney failure, or end stage renal disease (ESRD), chronic kidney disease (CKD) happens over time. For those who know they will be facing kidney failure, they have time to learn about the treatment choices, or modalities, available and prepare. Whether a person has months to prepare or needs to make a sudden decision about which modality is right, his or her doctor or nephrologist (doctor specializing in kidney care) will help educate and guide. Dialysis and kidney transplantation There are two treatments for kidney failure: dialysis and transplantation. Dialysis is a treatment that [...]
By Dori Schatell, Medical Education Institute One of the main jobs of dialysis is to remove excess water from your body. Seems pretty simple, right? Like wringing out a wet towel? Of course, your body is more complex than a towel—and taking over a task that healthy kidneys did isn’t really so easy. Removing water can lower your blood pressure at dialysis, which can make you feel wretched during and even after a treatment. We’ll tell you why—and how you can stop it. Fluid in Your Body Maybe you’ve heard that the human body is made mostly of water. It’s True [...]
There are pros and cons with each dialysis option. Each person is different and they need to work with their family and healthcare team to decide which will work best for them. For many, dialysis at home is more flexible than at a center, but there are also more responsibilities. This chart compares each of the choices: In Center Home Conventional or Nocturnal Conventional, Short Daily, or Nocturnal* CAPD/CCPD (peritoneal dialysis) Portable No Depends on machine Yes Travel possible With advance planning With portable machine Yes Needles used Yes Yes No Training time None 4-6 weeks (depending on system) 1-2 weeks [...]
History In the 1960's during the early days of home hemodialysis, most treatments were done in the home, primarily because of the lack of hospital or clinic-based facilities. By 1973, 40% of dialysis patients were doing their treatments at home. Decline of Home Hemodialysis The percentage of home hemodialysis patients began to drop after 1973. Today the situation has almost reversed and most people on dialysis (90%) get their treatments at a dialysis center. The drop in home hemodialysis was caused by the following: In 1972, Congress passed legislation that created a Medicare program to pay for dialysis treatment. This program [...]