As Black History month comes to a close, and national kidney month is about to begin, it’s important to think about the relationship between kidney health and African Americans. Kidney disease can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or ethnicity. However, African Americans are disproportionately affected by kidney disease for a variety of reasons including genetics and socio-economics. Compared to other ethnic groups, African Americans have higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure which are the two leading causes of kidney disease. While most patients may be aware of their diabetes or high blood pressure, many don’t know these conditions [...]
Currently, in-center hemodialysis is the most utilized form of dialysis treatment for Americans with end stage renal disease. With in-center hemodialysis a patient goes to a dialysis center where a staff of nurses and technicians administer treatment. Generally, in-center hemodialysis occurs three days a week for between three to five hours per session. During dialysis treatment the blood is removed from the body via an access (fistula, graft or catheter), filtered through an artificial kidney (dialyzer) and returned back to the body through the access. This blood is filtered many times during treatment to remove waste and maintain the chemical balance [...]
For people on dialysis who are stable, and who desire more control and flexibility over their treatments, home hemodialysis is another treatment option. With home hemodialysis a patient, along with a partner in most cases, will set up a dialysis machine in his or her home and learn to perform dialysis. This requires a patient, and/or partner, to learn how to self-cannulate, or put the needles into the access, set up the dialysis machine, monitor the machine, take and record vital statistics during treatment. Home hemodialysis patients must have a room in their home capable of accommodating the dialysis machine [...]
(The Care and Feeding of Your Dialysis Access) By Dr. Steve Curtiss Problems with dialysis access are a leading cause of complications and hospitalizations of patients with kidney disease. The more patients understand about their access, the more they are empowered and can become an important part of the healthcare team, which leads to an improved quality of life by staying out of the hospital and having efficient dialysis. It is also important for patients not yet on dialysis to understand the types of dialysis access available so they can be prepared and make informed choices about dialysis access when [...]
Kidneys perform crucial functions within the body. When they fail there are only four treatment pathways available: Hemodialysis uses a dialyzer to act as an artificial kidney, peritoneal dialysis uses the body's own abdominal lining to filter wastes, a transplant comes from a living or deceased donor and palliative care is a strategy that aims to prevent stress and reduce pain at the end of life. Without hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis or a transplant, individuals with failing kidneys will die. Hemodialysis (HD)—Cleansing a patient’s blood of harmful toxins and excess fluids through use of an artificial kidney (dialyzer) and hemodialysis machine. [...]
Bloodstream infections are the second leading cause of death for hemodialysis patients. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) prevention tools, also called the Core Interventions, provide dialysis facilities with a guide on how to prevent bloodstream infections. A recent study found that dialysis facilities that implemented CDC’s infection prevention tools such as improving staff hygiene and increasing patient education on better catheter maintenance, had a 44 percent decrease in bloodstream infections for patients. These resources are free and available to anyone on the CDC’s website.
History In the 1960's during the early days of home hemodialysis, most treatments were done in the home, primarily because of the lack of hospital or clinic-based facilities. By 1973, 40% of dialysis patients were doing their treatments at home. Decline of Home Hemodialysis The percentage of home hemodialysis patients began to drop after 1973. Today the situation has almost reversed and most people on dialysis (90%) get their treatments at a dialysis center. The drop in home hemodialysis was caused by the following: In 1972, Congress passed legislation that created a Medicare program to pay for dialysis treatment. This program [...]