Many kidney patients feel that they are unable to work, go to school, contribute to their household, or enjoy activities they love – either because they do not feel well enough or they cannot fit work into their in-center dialysis schedule. Studies bear out the facts: while 64 percent of the general population aged 18 to 55 work, only 21 percent of hemodialysis patients are able to work three months after therapy has begun.
Here's how more frequent home hemodialysis is different:
Patients who have switched from three-times-weekly hemodialysis to more frequent home hemodialysis have reported that they have more energy to do the things they enjoy. This is supported by the FREEDOM study and other studies which show that more frequent treatment is linked to enhanced energy, vitality, and overall quality of life. Family members of patients who have switched from in-center to more frequent home hemodialysis sometimes describe it as "getting my old loved one back." Because they often experience improved appetite and reduced side effects after therapy, more frequent home hemodialysis patients are often able to make work, school, and family life a part of their daily routine.
Despite the health benefits that more frequent home hemodialysis may provide to those with chronic kidney disease, this form of therapy is not for everyone. The reported benefits of more frequent home hemodialysis may not be experienced by all patients. The risks associated with hemodialysis treatments in any environment include, but are not limited to, high blood pressure, fluid overload, low blood pressure, heart-related issues, and vascular access complications. The medical devices used in hemodialysis therapies may add additional risks including air entering the bloodstream, and blood loss due to clotting or accidental disconnection of the blood tubing set. Certain risks are unique to the home. Treatments at home are done without the presence of medical personnel and on-site technical support. Patients and their care partners must be trained on what to do and how to get medical or technical help if needed.
To learn more about the responsibilities and risks of more frequent home hemodialysis, please click on Responsibilities & Risks of More Frequent Home Hemodialysis, and talk to your doctor to see if more frequent home hemodialysis with NxStage is right for you.
- Kraus M, et al. Work and Travel in a Large Short Daily Hemodialysis (SDHD) Program. Abstract presentation at the American Society of Nephrology 2007 Annual Congress.