Home Dialysis Eases Treatments
Albert Mallard is more enthusiastic about his kidney dialysis now, and who can blame him? After going to clinics for 15 years to get his blood cleaned, he has hemo-dialysis treatments in his home in Clinton, Md.
"You get to do it around your schedule, get to participate in your chores, do your work," he explained. It's more about you now."
Dialysis at home means more frequent, but much shorter, sessions than going to a clinic.
"Patients who can do their dialysis treatments on a more frequent basis, will have less fluid gains and, therefore, they will have less stress on their heart," added Dr. Cosette Jamieson.
She recommended home dialysis to some patients because new systems are easier to operate.
"Everything is automated, the information is in the computer," she explained. "For some patients, in- home dialysis is a whole lot better than coming to a dialysis center, like this one, three times a week, but it's not for everyone. Patients have to have a certain amount of willingness do it, they have to be able to it, and it's recommended they have a partner to help them in case they were to get into an emergency situation."
Mallard doesn't mind sticking himself with needles for dialysis. He keeps track of his medical readings with the help of his wife, Maureen.
"Any type of assistance that he may need at the time, I just try to be there to assist him," she explained.
The couple underwent several weeks of training to learn how to do home dialysis and had to make plumbing changes in Albert's dialysis room. They both feel it's a small price for big rewards.
"Living a normal life, like everyone else, it helps us to do that. Home is just like being reborn again, you have more of your life back," the couple added.
Health insurance sometimes covers the cost of home dialysis and, in case of an emergency, 24-hour help is just a phone call away.