With in-center dialysis, patients are tied to a strict treatment schedule and have to arrange their lives around dialysis. The dialysis treatment – from set-up to cannulation (inserting the dialysis needles) to ending therapy – may be managed by different people on different days. For many, this loss of control and independence can affect their self-esteem and mental attitude.
Here's how more frequent home hemodialysis is different:
More frequent home hemodialysis patients and their care partners are trained to manage the treatment completely. This means that the same person or two will cannulate and monitor treatments every time. Patients say it is a "liberating feeling" to be in control of their therapy, which in turn offers them increased control over their life in general.
It's important to emphasize, however, that treatment with the NxStage System One should only be done under the responsibility of a physician and performed by a trained and qualified person. A patient should never dialyze alone, regardless of whether they are "trained and qualified."
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.