I had an interesting email from Lawrence recently, about the pros and cons of the various brands of dialysis machine:
I’ve been dialysing for a year now on Fresenius machines and in the last few months have been doing home hemo on a Fresenius. I’ve had constant issues with poor arterial pressures and alarms. The techies have been out to try and sort the problems and eventually decided that it must be my line which was the problem.
This week I am on holiday and have been dialysing on a Braun machine. What a difference!! I’ve been attaining pump speeds of 350 (I can barely make 300 on the Fresenius) and the arterial and venous pressures are brilliant! My KTV is 1.5. (more…)
Joe (not his real name) has just been through what we all dread: an infected fistula, with complications.
Most of his fistula is in his upper arm, and over the last couple of weeks it became sore, larger and more difficult and painful to needle. Joe started antibiotics, but unbeknown to him, it had also developed a clot that grew in size until the blood flow through it was minimal. So, though he was on the machine for the same time each session, less blood being cleaned meant he was actually getting less and less dialysis and becoming less and less well. Realising that it was not just because of the infection, he was referred to his kidney specialist for treatment. (more…)
At various times, I wish we were a little more advanced with the BigD. I wish for access without needles, wearable artificial kidneys and stem cell therapy to regrow a healthy kidney. I am sure they will arrive, eventually.
But once I get over my impatience, reality sets in and I realise how lucky I am to be alive right now, when dialysis has not only been invented but is the streamlined, readily reproducible treatment I take for granted. And to some extent, the same goes for transplants. Today, no-one expects to die from kidney failure, they just (just?) go on dialysis and line up for a transplant. (more…)