Location - 122 Thomas Street, Dandenong. Ground Floor. In the building signed as 'Monash Health Community'. Telephone 9792 7800. Fax 9792 7752.
Haemodialysis is a procedure used to maintain patients with end stage renal failure by using an artificial kidney machine (dialysis machine) to replace the excretory function of the failed kidneys. Blood from the patient is pumped from the body through special tubing to the dialysis machine, where it travels through the dialyser, cleaned then returned to the patient.
For home haemodialysis, patients are trained to conduct their haemodialysis at home. Patients choose their dialysis hours and times to suit their lifestyle. Patients dialyse for to five to eight hours, seven times per fortnight during daytime hours. Alternatively, they can conduct the haemodialysis overnight (nocturnal haemodialysis), while sleeping. Patients then dialyse for up to ten hours either every second night or six times per week.
A 24 hour home haemodialysis nurse on-call service is provided for all patients, so patients are never alone.
Benefits of home haemodialysis
- Dialysing at home gives patients authority, empowerment and responsibility for their care
- It offers flexibility to move around the patient’s lifestyle
- Patients can dialyse every day to improve their quality of life and reduce the symptoms of kidney disease
- It produces better management of fluids and reduced diet regimes
- Travelling to a hospital centre to dialyse is not required.
The process to commence haemodialysis at home
1. Ensure that dialysing at home suits the patient, the patient’s home, family/carer and lifestyle.
Prior to starting home haemodialysis training, patients are interviewed by a nurse from the home haemodialysis team and the social worker. The requirements for home haemodialysis are explained and all questions answered. A hygienic area at the patient’s home is required, as well as storage space for dialysis supplies and the dialysis machine. All supplies are delivered monthly to the patient’s home at no cost.
Training is conducted according to each patient’s pace by expert renal nurses to enable the patient to dialyse in the comfort and privacy of their own home. Most patients attend the training unit daily for 5 to 10 days, until they are competent and confident to dialyse themselves at home. Training generally takes between six to eight weeks.
3. Technical requirements
A Monash Health dialysis technician visits the patient at home to ensure the water supply and water quality are at required standards. Some plumbing modifications may be required in the room where the haemodialysis will be conducted. The cost to do this is paid by Monash Health.
The technicians also deliver the haemodialysis machine and arrange for servicing when required. The haemodialysis machine is made available at no charge.
Home haemodialysis does not suit all patients and there are some drawbacks to consider:
- Having family members help patients with the treatments may be stressful to them
- Space is required for storing the machine and supplies at home
- Patients have to learn to put the dialysis needles in their arm.
Holidaying with home haemodialysis
Holidays can be arranged easily when the dialysis machine can be taken with the patients.
For patient information on the abovementioned that you can download, please refer to our main page here