The DPC Education Center kicked off it’s 2016 education call series last Thursday on a topic important to all kidney disease patients: Dialysis 101. Debbie Cote, a nephrology nurse and administrator for several facilities in Virginia, was our featured presenter. She covered all aspects of the dialysis treatment including access types, how the machine works, and what labs to monitor during and after treatment. If you were unable to listen to the call live, the recording is now available for viewing below. Additionally, be sure to join us for the next education call “Transplant 101” scheduled on February 17 at 3:00 PM [...]
The history of dialysis dates back to the 1940s. The first type of dialyzer, then called the artificial kidney, was built in 1943 by Dutch physician Willem Kolff. Kolff had first gotten the idea of developing a machine to clean the blood after watching a patient suffer from kidney failure. When his invention was completed, he attempted to treat over a dozen patients with acute kidney failure over the next two years. Although only one treatment turned out successful, he continued to experiment in improving his design. Kolff came to the United States in the late 1940s and went to work [...]
Although the development of dialysis dates back to the 1940s, the government didn’t become more involved in the payment for treatment until the 1960s. The first significant government response to dialysis first came in 1963, when Veteran’s Affairs outlined plans to build 30 dialysis unit in VA hospitals around the United States. These units were designed for veterans who were eligible for treatment. Throughout 1964 and 1965, Congress established multiple programs to help provide funding for research in dialysis, including the Artificial Kidney-Chronic Uremia Program and Transplant Immunology Program in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. By the mid-1960s, [...]
There are many effective treatment options for kidney disease. Talk to your doctor about these options: Peritoneal Dialysis Hemodialysis Kidney Transplantation There is no one treatment option that is best for everyone. There are pros and cons to all three treatments. All of them work—you and your doctor just need to decide which one is best for you. Hundreds of thousands of people today are living well on dialysis or with a transplant. Each of them faced a decision like yours. And everyone who has been there will tell you the same thing: No matter which option you choose, you [...]
Chronic kidney disease (CKD), also called chronic kidney failure, describes the gradual loss of kidney function. Your kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood, which are then removed from your body in your urine. When CKD reaches an advanced stage, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and waste products can build up in your body and cause you harm. In the early stages of CKD, you may have few signs or symptoms, and may only be diagnosed with a blood and/or urine test. In fact, you may not feel sick from CKD up until most of your kidney function [...]
(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.
The annual data report from the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) reveals both positive and negative trends in kidney disease in the United States. Positive news includes fewer deaths among kidney patients and an increasing use of home dialysis treatments. Ongoing challenges include increasing medical costs for dialysis treatment and an overall increase in the size of the dialysis population. Highlights from the report include: Fewer deaths were reported among dialysis and kidney transplant patients in 2013, dropping by 28 percent and 40 percent, respectively, since 1996. Prevalence of end-stage kidney disease—the last stage of chronic kidney disease when the [...]
The two-day treatment gap between in-center hemodialysis patients is associated with more hospital admissions and an increased mortality rate, according to a report published in Kidney International. Researchers looked at 5,800 hemodialysis patients in Sheffield, United Kingdom. They found that hospitalization was more likely for patients who had a 2-day interval between treatments than those with a 1-day interval. Health officials attributed this to a build-up of fluid and toxins. The study also offered potential solutions, such as more frequent dialysis treatments and a lower fluid removal goal.