The reported benefits of home hemodialysis may not be experienced by all patients.
Despite the health benefits that home and more frequent hemodialysis may provide to those with chronic kidney disease, these forms of therapy are not for everyone.
Risks Associated with All Forms of Hemodialysis
All forms of hemodialysis, including treatments performed in-center, at a Skilled Nursing Facility, and at home, involve some risks. These may include high blood pressure, fluid overload, low blood pressure, heart-related issues, vascular access complications, cramps, backache, headache, dizziness, nausea, an “off” taste in the mouth, fatigue, fever, chills, joint pain, itching, seizures or sinusitis.
All hemodialysis therapies also involve the use of medical devices that introduce the potential for additional risks including air entering the bloodstream, damage of red blood cells, inflammatory reactions, blood chemistry imbalances, blood loss due to clotting of the blood tubing set or accidental blood line disconnection or other leak, allergic reactions, and excess warming or cooling of the dialysate. In addition, dialysis patients may have other underlying diseases that may, in some cases, make it more difficult for them to manage their hemodialysis treatments.
Risks Associated with More Frequent Home Hemodialysis
Studies suggest that patients performing more frequent home hemodialysis may experience slightly fewer complications associated with their treatments and may experience improved clinical outcomes. However, there are certain risks unique to treatment in the home environment. When vascular access is exposed to more frequent use, infection of the site, and other access related complications may also be potential risks.
Patients should consult with their doctor to understand the risks and responsibilities of home and/or more frequent hemodialysis using the NxStage System.
Patients and providers are encouraged to contact their state regulators to discuss state-specific regulations that may impact dialysis in the Skilled Nursing Facility setting.