At Home Treatment

Home Hemodialysis

There are two types of home dialysis. The first is home hemodialysis, which uses a small dialysis machine to clean the blood. This requires a vascular access (fistula or graft), or a catheter placed in the subclavian vein, which is located near your shoulder. We train each patient or support person to place two needles in the fistula for each treatment. While home hemodialysis patients are independent and typically able to perform this treatment on their own, it is a requirement to have a support person in the home during treatment.

Home hemodialysis treatments are shorter in length than treatments done in the center, are performed five or six days a week and can be done overnight. Home hemodialysis training consists of four weeks at the Dialysis Training Unit at Mount Baker Kidney Center. Once you are fully trained for home hemodialysis, you will need to visit your nephrologist and Dialysis Training Unit nurse once a month.

Advantages of Home Hemodialysis

  • Greater independence
  • Less fluid and diet restrictions
  • Adjustable treatment schedule
  • Equipment is portable
  • Better blood waste clearance
  • Greater blood pressure control
  • Albumin (protein) improves (better appetite)
  • Increased overall well-being

Disadvantages of Home Hemodialysis

  • Support person needed during treatments
  • You will need to insert your own needles
  • Supply storage required in home