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Creating a successful daily home hemodialysis program

Adrian Priester-Coary
Nephrology Nursing Journal: Journal of the American Nephrology Nurses' Association 2004, 31 (6): 677-9
15686332
The literature supports that patients on daily hemodialysis do much better overall. They tolerate dialysis better, have less complications and less fluid to remove, their appetites are better, they have more energy, and they have greater blood pressure control. Patients with cardiovascular disease who cannot tolerate the rigor of conventional, three times a week dialysis do better on daily hemodialysis. Here are quotes from just a few patients dialyzing at home: "I no longer experience the large energy swings and the night cramps as I did with in-clinic dialysis." (Delores: 74 years) "I've been on dialysis for 26 years, and for 26 years I haven't felt good. But now my friends and family are seeing a real change in me because I'm excited, I'm feeling better." (Richard: 48 years) "Instead of spending time with the nurse, I can spend time with my husband and I have more energy. I think it is because I'm dialyzing 6 times a week." (Sharon: 52 years) Short, daily at-home dialysis helps patients reclaim a more normal life. You and your colleagues will be able to see dramatic improvements very soon after sending them home, leading to a greater chance of rehabilitation. Most importantly, if you choose to develop a daily home hemodialysis program, you should consider yourself and the team very special. You will be among the first clinics in the country to introduce and implement a unique and needed change in the renal arena. As this article outlines, it may not be easy at first, but you will find it to be one of the most rewarding nursing experiences you have had in your career.

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