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A Guide for Kidney Patients New to Dialysis

Taking into account your age, condition and circumstances, after a detailed consultation with your doctor, if you have finally chose hemodialysis at a hospital or dialysis center, here are some useful tips to help you be as comfortable as is possible.

As an ESRD patient, your doctor would have offered you a choice between

  • CAPD (Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis)
  • APD (Automated Peritoneal Dialysis)
  • Haemodialysis (at home, hospital or dialysis centre)
  • Renal Replacement or Kidney Transplant

Taking into account your age, condition and circumstances, after a detailed consultation with your doctor, if you have finally chose haemodialysis at a hospital or dialysis centre, here are some useful tips to help you be as comfortable as is possible.

AV Fistula

: You will have to undergo a short surgical procedure, to prepare vascular access or an AV fistula, for allowing the blood out and back into your body, during dialysis. Follow the subsequent exercise and precautions that are prescribed to you diligently. Your fistula plays an important role in dialysis and it is crucial that you take proper care of it. Study “how to take care of my vascular access?” at the NKUDIC site carefully. Your AV fistula literally acts as your lifeline and you must protect it.

Always

carry your tourniquets with you and in the event of any bleeding from the site, make sure they are immediately tied tightly above the fistula.

Opt for a fully equipped hospital or dialysis centre

: Whenever feasible, choose a facility which has adequate emergency facilities, such as a well equipped Intensive Care Unit and emergency medicine specialists on hand. Due to financial or other constraints, this may not always be possible, but if you have the option, go for this reassuring choice.

Interact with the dialysis nurses and technicians

before making your final choice. These are the people who will be interacting with you more than your doctor and your welfare is largely dependent on their performance, expertise and compassion.

Familiarize yourself with the facility and procedure beforehand:

Preparing yourself mentally can lessen the shock and difficulties associated with this frequently required 4 hour procedure. While patients are generally advised to take dialysis 3 times a week, financial and other constraints often force them to go less frequently.

Discuss your choice of dialyzer and optimal number of reuse with your provider beforehand:

It is possible that a particular dialyzer is more likely to suit you than another. Importantly, most dialyzers are meant for single use, but due to financial limitations, patients are forced to reuse the dialyzer and blood lines. The efficiency of the dialyzer reduces with each use and your attempt to save on the dialyzer may prove costly if you reuse it too frequently. The same is true of blood lines as well. Though they can generally be reused far more frequently than the dialyzer, a leak or clotting will prove highly expensive in terms of blood loss and the danger of a blood clot entering your blood stream.

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