Technology Makes It Easier to Perform Dialysis at Home
About 14 percent of the American population has chronic kidney failure, and therefore they require dialysis to continue with their lives normally. Dialysis treatment is expensive, and it can cost a whopping $50,000 annually. It takes a lot of time to complete with most patients undergoing dialysis at least three times a week. The federal government has opened about seven thousand dialysis centers across the country to cater to the growing numbers.
Most of the patients with severe kidney failure go to these centers several times a week where they spend nearly a day to get the critical service. However, the introduction of home kidney dialysis machine has made it easier for the affected people to undergo the life-sustaining procedure right from the comfort of their homes. But before we venture further on the topic, let’s answer the following question.
What Is Dialysis And Why Is It Important?
Normally, a healthy person has two kidneys whose main role is to eliminate toxins from the body. The kidneys in a human body can filter up to 150 quarts of blood every day. They remove all the waste from the body, thus helping your body to achieve a balance known as homeostasis. When both or either of the kidneys fail, the waste accumulates in the body leading to coma and eventually death.
Kidney failure occurs gradually, and it can result from various causes such as lifestyle conditions, medications, and certain illnesses. Kidneys may also get impacted during an injury, thus causing them to fail. The goal of dialysis is to prevent the waste released by the body to reach hazardous levels. Furthermore, dialysis can be used in a medical setting to remove drugs or toxins from the blood.
What Are The Available Options For Dialysis?
Dialysis is available in three main options. They include intermittent hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and continuous renal replacement therapies. A patient can choose any of the three options based on their medical situation, cost, and availability.
The blood flows outside the body through a machine with special filters. In hemodialysis, a flexible tube referred to as a catheter is inserted in a vein where it draws blood and passes it through a filtering machine. The filters remove the excess waste products, and the purified blood flows to the body through a second catheter. The procedure can be done at a dialysis center or even from home.
Unlike hemodialysis which utilizes filtration to remove waste products, peritoneal dialysis utilizes diffusion to remove waste products from the blood. The procedure involves running a sterile dialysate solution into the peritoneal cavity where it absorbs waste products through diffusion. One setback with peritoneal dialysis is that it is less efficient when compared with hemodialysis. However, with peritoneal dialysis, a patient has more freedom and independence. It can also be easily done at home, and hence the patient doesn’t need to visit the hospital several times every week.
Continuous Replacement Therapy (CRRT)
This type of dialysis is done continuously for 24 hours in an ICU (Intensive Care Unit). CRRT is better tolerated. And it results in fewer complications.