Home therapy for dialysis patients

April 19, 2008 9:53:57 AM PDT
It was 17 years ago when Robert Newton learned he had polycystic kidney disease.

He was 20 then, and knew one day a transplant or dialysis to filter toxins and excess waste from his blood would be his only options.

"It was kind of like the last 17 years I've been kind of preparing myself for this day," said Newton. Once he needed dialysis, Robert started treatments 3 days a week for up to 4 hours a day at the DaVita dialysis center in Durham. There, he learned about the latest portable dialysis therapy called the NxStage system one-a system Robert could use at home.

"Mostly it's gonna free up my schedule cause I work retail," said Newton. "With the home unit it's gonna grant me a little more flexibility by doing the treatments at home."

Robert will also be able to do the at home dialysis on a more frequent basis for shorter periods of time which doctors say leads to better results.

"Home dialysis hemodialysis is performed generally 6 times a week rather than 3 times a week as conventional dialysis is," said Dr. Michael Berkoben, a nephrologist with DaVita. "That means less fluid has to be removed each time and should cause fewer side effects for the patients."

While Robert is still learning how to use the new system, it seems to be working well. His wife, Danielle, has already noticed a difference.

"One thing I've noticed since he started the home dialysis training," said Danielle. "Is he's been more energetic after training sessions are done. " And the extra energy is just another benefit of doing dialysis at home for the Newton's.

Some insurance plans like Medicare cover the NxStage system. For more information, visit the following links:


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