Kidney failure is a serious health challenge that affects many systems in the body. If you have lived with kidney failure, you understand firsthand the stresses on your body that kidney failure and its treatment cause. Sadly, between 20% and 25% of dialysis patients die each year. And, importantly, studies have shown that there is a higher chance of death due to heart complications for three-times-weekly in-center patients after the long weekend off. This is primarily due to the extra fluid that builds up over that two-day period, which can cause undue stress on your heart and circulatory system.
How more frequent home hemodialysis may help:
By doing more frequent dialysis; there is less fluid build-up – and therefore less stress on the body. Several studies have looked at the Standardized Mortality Ratio (SMR) of dialysis patients. The results of these studies indicate that patients performing more frequent home hemodialysis generally have a lower SMR score, which suggests a lower risk of death as compared with three-times-weekly in-center dialysis patients.
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.
- U.S. Renal Data System, USRDS 2008 Annual Data Report: Atlas of Chronic Kidney Disease and End-Stage Renal Disease in the United States, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, MD, 2008.
- Bleyer A, et al. Sudden and cardiac death rates in hemodialysis patients. Kidney International. 1999;55:1553-1559.
- Woods JD, et al. Comparison of mortality with home hemodialysis and center hemodialysis: a national study. Kidney International. 1996; 49:1464-1470.
- Blagg CR, et al. Comparison of survival between short-daily hemodialysis and conventional hemodialysis using the standardized mortality ratio. Hemodialysis International. 2006;10:371-374.
- Kjellstrand C, et al. Short daily hemodialysis: survival in 415 patients treated for 1006 patient-years. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2008;23:3283-3289.
- Weinhandl ED, Lie J, Gilbertson DT, Arneson TJ, Collins AJ. Survival in daily home hemodialysis and matched thrice-weekly in-center hemodialysis patients. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2012;23(5):895-904.