- Understanding Chronic Kidney Disease
- Kidney Disease Stages
- How Kidneys Work
- What to Expect
- Managing Kidney Disease
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At-Home HemodialysisAt-Home Hemodialysis
What Is Home
Home hemodialysis (HD) is a treatment for kidney failure, also called end stage renal disease (ESRD), that occurs at stage 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD). The basic process is exactly the same as in-center hemodialysis, only it's done in the comfort of your own home with slightly different equipment.
How does home hemodialysis work?
During home hemodialysis, your blood is filtered outside of your body through a dialyzer or “artificial kidney” to remove unwanted waste, toxins and excess fluids. Hemodialysis uses a solution called dialysate to remove unwanted substances from your blood. Clean, chemically balanced blood is then returned to your body.
What are the benefits of home hemodialysis?
- You may be able to do at-home HD on your own, without assistance.
- You have the comfort of being home during treatment—while having access to an on-call nurse over the phone.
- If prescribed by your doctor, you can stay on your machine longer or more frequently, which can help you feel better—you may have more energy and less nausea and cramping.
- Along with your doctor or nurse's advice, you can choose your time for treatments, so you have more flexibility for work or school or other social activities.
- You don't need to leave home for treatment, which saves on travel time and transportation costs, plus alleviates weather-related travel worries.
- You or your care partner will put in your own needles, which some people prefer.
- You have more freedom with your diet if your doctor prescribes more frequent dialysis treatments.
What do you need to succeed at home hemodialysis?
- Anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks of training—along with your care partner (a family member or friend), if you need one.
- If you have a care partner, he or she needs to be dependable—to commit to either participating in your home hemodialysis treatments or staying with you to monitor them.
- You or your care partner must be willing to set up for treatments and clean up afterward.
- Before you begin, check with your health insurance provider—or your social worker—so you know whether more frequent at-home hemodialysis treatments will be covered.
- Your water and electrical systems need to be checked in case they need to be upgraded or modified.
- Space that’s set aside in your home to store supplies and equipment.
HOW HOME HD HELPS YOU THRIVE
Longer, slower and more frequent dialysis treatments are gentler on your body and much closer to natural kidney function. Home hemodialysis also gives you more flexibility with your schedule.