Tags: hemodialysis | kidney | renal failure | hd | home | long-term | risks

Hemodialysis: Can It Be Done At Home?

Tuesday, 29 April 2014 11:23 PM

Hemodialysis is a procedure used for the treatment of kidney or renal failure. It is used for treating advanced stages of kidney failure or end-stage renal disease. Hemodialysis, also abbreviated as HD, is a complicated procedure usually performed by a team of health care professionals.

The kidney is the organ responsible for clearing wastes from the body such as excess amounts of minerals, fluids, and other wastes. Failure of the kidney leads to the accumulation of wastes in the body that cause blood pressure to rise. Thus, due to renal failure, the body retains waste materials and cannot produce a sufficient number of red blood cells. Therefore, the kidney needs to be treated for proper functioning. HD is a lifesaving treatment used by a large number of patients of renal failure. It is used for treating chronic kidney disease, which is long-term damage to the kidney.
How to Perform Hemodialysis at Home?
There are different types of home HD. Short dialysis performed at home five times per week reduces renal osteodystrophy. In hemodialysis, blood from the body is passed through a filter that removes the waste material from the blood. This clean blood is then returned into the body.
Removal of waste materials helps in controlling blood pressure and in maintaining the chemical balance in the body. People can learn how to perform hemodialysis at home. Training on how to perform hemodialysis at home may take four to six weeks to complete. Family members or friends of a patient can undergo this training to implement the procedure at home.

Advantages and Risks
Performing hemodialysis at home helps provide greater flexibility in the schedule. While performing hemodialysis at home, a regular schedule must be maintained similar to the one followed at a dialysis unit. The number of sessions per week and the time taken for each session vary during hemodialysis at home. A small but growing number of clinics have started offering hemodialysis at home as the option. The machine either is provided at home by the clinic or can be brought from a supplier. The dialysis solution is directly delivered to the patient’s home once or twice a month.
The patient needs to visit the clinic once a month to conduct blood tests and to check if the treatments are working fine. Though dialysis at home has a number of advantages, there are some risks associated with it. Chief among them are air embolism, loss of blood if the catheter separates, infection, and low blood pressure.
Hemodialysis Diet
Symptoms of kidney failure appear when the kidney functioning falls to below 40 percent. If the kidney’s performance falls below 10 percent, it is an indication that either dialysis or a transplant is required for the patient to remain alive. The HD diet is recommended for patients at Stage 5 of chronic kidney disease, also called the end-stage of renal disease. The HD diet for renal failure consists of a higher amount of protein rich foods.
Patients are encouraged to use quality food such as egg whites, lean meat, and fish in their diet. A renal dietician can better suggest the right dietary foods. A renal dietician is specially trained to take care of renal health and thus a renal dietician can provide precise information about the patient’s dietary requirements.

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Hemodialysis is a procedure of treating chronic kidney disease or renal failure. It can be performed either at a health center or at home. A nurse or a technician can perform the hemodialysis at home along with family members. Patients are also recommended to use hemodialysis diet.
hemodialysis, kidney, renal failure, hd, home, long-term, risks
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 11:23 PM
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