HEMODIALYSIS PRESCRIPTION FOR PATIENTS

WHAT IS HEMODIALYSIS?

Hemodialysis is used to treat severe kidney failure. Hemodialysis is also known as an artificial kidney. When kidneys no longer do their job properly and effectively, this artificial kidney is used to remove waste products and fluid out of the blood. Hemodialysis can easily take your kidney’s place and help the patient to recover quickly and live their normal life.

Hemodialysis helps to maintain blood pressure and also some minerals such as potassium, sodium, and calcium in your body.

If your kidney damage is about 85-90 %, then it is called acute kidney failure. Earlier doctors mainly focused on kidney replacement, other than helping to preserve kidney function. But Hemodialysis can make life normal and easy. This process makes you feel stressless and also helps you to live longer. 

WHEN TO START HEMODIALYSIS?

When the doctor detects some issue regarding kidneys such as kidney failure, or kidney disorder; then your doctor suggests Hemodialysis. Both you and your doctor together discuss when to start dialysis. Before starting dialysis, some test has performed on you to check your kidney functioning

  • Blood test
  • Urine test

Also check your symptoms, nutritional status, and overall health. By these factors, the doctor can decide the time and day to perform Hemodialysis. 

The kidney function is estimated by running some common blood test which is called serum creatinine. This test is used to estimate GFR i.e., glomerular filtration rate. Some people start dialysis when their kidney function remains only 6-10 percent of normal and some at 20 percent of normal.

Some patients have very less symptoms of kidney disorder and they started Hemodialysis which will improve their symptoms. Some patients do not have early symptoms, so they do not start dialysis but in many cases, nephrologists suggest dialysis even in the absence of symptoms.

If your blood test specifies any kind of kidney malfunctioning so maybe it is because of high blood potassium concentration. In this case, dialysis should be started.

PREPARATION FOR HEMODIALYSIS

Preparation should be started at least a few months before the patients need it. It should be given to a patient who is having chronic kidney disorder or kidney failure. For starting this procedure, we should create access, a few months or in some cases, weeks ago. It is a very complex treatment because sometimes patients do not feel any symptoms until it is too late. That’s why you should do your regular check-up and contact your doctor as soon as possible if you feel sick because it takes time to prepare for dialysis. 

  • Vascular access – in this access, a normal vein is required. This normal vein creates access for the removal of blood from the body and then circulates it through a dialysis machine so that it returns to the body. This access is divided into three major access and these are: –
  • Primary arteriovenous access.
  • Synthetic AV bridge graft.
  • Central venous catheter.

This access is created on the hand which is not used on a daily basis i.e., the left hand.

  1. Primary arteriovenous fistula – this procedure requires a direct connection between arteries and veins. It is done under the skin. In this process, two needles are inserted inside the vein, through one needle blood flows out which circulates in a dialysis machine and then flows back into the starting point by the second needle.
  2. Synthetic bridge graft – doctor uses flexible and rubber-like fistula to make a path between artery and vein. It is because the patient’s vein is not perfect for creating a fistula.
  3. Central venous catheter – this access passes from the patient’s neck. The neck contains a large vein in which a thin tube is placed inside it.

THE LOCATION OF HEMODIALYSIS TREATMENT

Now the patient can be treated at both dialysis centers or home.

DIALYSIS CENTRE/ HOSPITAL

Dialysis is done both, in the hospitals or clinics. In the center, dialysis takes up to 4 to 5 hours and is done 3 times a week. In the center, the technician sets up the equipment and connects the machine.

A nice thing is that some dialysis centers offer treatment at night time. 3 nights a week this treatment starts. You can sleep all night and this takes a little longer. The advantages of getting longer overnight dialysis treatment mean: –

  • Your daytime is free which means you can do your regular activities without any problem.
  • Your diet plan has changed. But it is good for you.
  • Drinking more and more liquid is good. And during day time you can easily calculate the amount of water drink closure to normal
  • Also, the late-night treatment can make you fit faster. It may reduce your symptoms and it is the best schedule for dialysis.

  HOME DIALYSIS

Home Hemodialysis is a very safe and stress-free treatment for the patient. It is usually done 4-7 times per week and its sessions last for 2 to 10 hours.

Home dialysis depends on how good or bad your condition is. So, during Hemodialysis you must see your doctor at least once per month. 

Flexible schedules for home Hemodialysis are: –

  1. For a standard home, the Hemodialysis schedule will be 3 times per week or sometimes regular days for 3 – 5 hours.
  2. For short daily Hemodialysis, the schedule will be 5 to 7 days per week for at least 2-4 hours.
  3. For night home Hemodialysis the schedule will be 3 to 6 times per week while you are sleeping.

HEMODIALYSIS MONITORING

  1. BLOOD TESTING – the blood testing is prescribed by a doctor to check the patient’s condition and blood flow rate. This should be done per month.
  2. BODY WEIGHT MONITORING – weight gaining is the very main problem. After and before the Hemodialysis doctor asked for weight monitoring. If your weight increases too much out of the normal during the treatment you should contact your doctor.

SIDE EFFECTS

Some patients suffer from lots of symptoms and side effects. Side effects such as low blood pressure, shortness of breath, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Some patients also feel dizzy after dialysis.