In-center dialysis can often leave patients feeling washed-out, dehydrated, and exhausted. The sudden change to the body caused by drawing fluid off quickly can cause severe muscle cramps, headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Studies have shown that, on average, in-center patients spend about 9 hours just recovering from a dialysis treatment and often spend the rest of that day resting or in bed.
Here's how more frequent home hemodialysis may help:
When dialysis is done more often, less fluid builds up, so there is less to draw off – and less stress on the body. Patients doing more frequent home hemodialysis typically recover much faster. Studies have shown that many patients using more frequent home hemodialysis feel recovered and ready to do their normal daily activities within an hour of finishing their treatment. Some patients even report feeling just fine immediately after their treatments. So, while treatment can take up to three hours and must be done five or six times weekly, reduced recovery times mean that patients using more frequent home hemodialysis may get back 16 or more hours of quality time per week compared to in-center therapy.
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.
- Finkelstein F, et al. Daily home HD (DHD) improves quality of life (QOL) measures, depressive symptoms and recovery time: Interim results from the FREEDOM study. Abstract presentation at the American Society of Nephrology 2008 Annual Congress.