New Technology Allows Kidney Patients To Have Dialysis At Home
Posted March 29, 2006 7:28 a.m. EST
BOSTON, MA — Certain kidney conditions require an ongoing treatment called dialysis. Many patients have to go to a clinic several days a week for hours at a time, but a new technology brings the clinic home.
Home Dialysis Central
Ryan Stanger is a busy father of two and a dental school student. He also suffers from an autoimmune disease that attacks his kidneys. He needs daily dialysis to help his kidneys filter blood.
"When I first started dialysis, I would go to a clinic three times a week, four hours each session," he said. "I think it was more difficult for my wife because she had the two little ones all to herself."
But now, Stanger has dialysis in his own home, thanks to a portable machine. His wife helps hook Ryan up to the device and he never has to go to a clinic.
About 50 dialysis centers around the country are now offering the home treatment, and experts only expect that number to rise.
At home, patients undergo dialysis two hours a day instead of three times a week for four hours at a clinic. Doctors say those daily treatments are better for patients and can actually help them live longer.
"Improvement in mortality statistics, improvement in energy level, improvement in swelling of the heart," said Dr. Martin Gelman. "Their blood pressure improves. A lot of people come off of blood pressure medications."
And for Ryan, the convenience cannot be beat.
"The dialysis machine is wonderful. I'm able to do it in my house, be around my family," Stanger said.