Dialyspa Dialysis Center Offers Unique Dialysis Option From Home

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Dialyspa Dialysis Center presents the option to receive in-home hemodialysis treatments.

When the kidneys no longer function, regular life saving dialysis treatments must be performed. For many this means going to a dialysis center on a planned schedule three to four times a week. In-center treatments can take up to twelve hours out of a week, which can make working or everyday activities more challenging.

Depending on needs and ability, dialysis patients may have the option to receive hemodialysis treatments in the comfort of their own home.

With home hemodialysis, the dialysis machine and equipment stay in the home. There is more flexibility over what time of day to receive dialysis treatments according to the weekly schedule provided by a kidney doctor.

The process is the same as in-center hemodialysis, but a partner or caregiver needs to be present to help monitor dialysis sessions. A Registered Nurse trains the patient and the helper on how to do the needle sticks properly.

If home dialysis modality is chosen, the patient and helper receive full training and guidance from a registered nurse. Private training sessions on how to perform dialysis in the home should be provided by a qualified instructor. The nurse will walk through every step of the home hemodialysis treatment with the patient and caregiver.

Learning how to perform a home dialysis treatment may sound overwhelming, but a superior dialysis center has support for every home hemodialysis patient.

Richard Kimmel, a full-time Home Dialysis Training Nurse, explains that he teaches patients and caregivers at their own pace. “Once I started in home dialysis training, I knew this was my niche and my true calling.” says Kimmel, who has trained over one hundred home hemodialysis patients. He sees his role as helping to give patients back part of their life. The hands on decision making that is part of the home hemodialysis program gives the patient control over their daily schedule and management of their health.

At first, home dialysis training happens at the dialysis center. At Dialyspa, Kimmel teaches in a private room reserved for home hemodialysis patients. Once the patient and their helper feel confident, the portable dialysis machine is relocated to the patient’s home. This usually happens after fifteen sessions in the clinic. After the portable dialysis machine is moved home, Kimmel continues training in the patient’s home until both patient and caregiver are confident to manage dialysis treatments independently.

Although studies have shown that patients on home hemodialysis often do better medically and emotionally, the number of patients choosing this method of dialysis is still very low. It is estimated that 10% of all dialysis patients may qualify for home hemodialysis yet in the state of Texas, for example, only 1.1% of dialysis patients are on home hemodialysis.

There may be several reasons for the low number of patients using home hemodialysis. One cause may be that a helper or caregiver must be available during the at-home dialysis treatments. Many think the helper must be a spouse, but this person can be any family member, friend, neighbor or anyone who is willing to go through training with the dialysis patient. “Support at home is what makes it happen,” says Kimmel. He has even trained multiple helpers for one patient. Kimmel has also seen families turn dialysis treatment time into family time, where patient and family gather for a movie or visit.

Few dialysis centers offer a home dialysis program. However, all three Dialyspa dialysis centers offer home hemodialysis along with numerous other dialysis options such peritoneal dialysis, in-center hemodialysis, and nocturnal shifts.

““Dialyspa stands head and shoulders above all other dialysis centers in the Houston region,” states Kimmel, who has ten years experience in dialysis with eight of those years being spent as a home hemodialysis trainer.

Seeing home hemodialysis as a way to for dialysis patients to become active participants in their care, Rich Kimmel says, "My motto for my patients is: If I can, I will." To patients considering home hemodialysis he offers, “I am on call 24 hours a day for my patients. My patients’ safety is my biggest concern. To my future patients, my gift to you is giving you back part of your life, hands on decision making and control of your daily schedule and medical portion of your life.”

Dialyspa Medical Center, LLC
2453 South Braeswood, Suite 201
Houston, TX 77030
Phone: 713-218-6500
Fax: 713-218-6508

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Elizza Alonzo
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