Home dialysis is a process of training the patient and care partner to do hemodialysis at home. It can be a positive and liberating option for motivated patients with good health literacy and family support.
With home dialysis, like with peritoneal dialysis, you are responsible for your own treatment in the comfort of your home. The process is involved, requiring you to learn the correct technique to avoid infection and other complications. Discuss this option with your Southwest Kidney Institute (SKI) physician to determine if this treatment path is best for you.
SKI provides on-site training to help you and/or your care partner understand how to care for your access site, learn to place your needles, and more.
Dialysis access monitoring is critical to your treatment. When doing home dialysis, monitoring and caring for the access site becomes a primary responsibility of you and your care partner. Follow these guidelines to keep your access healthy:
- A healthy exit site is dry, clean and has no redness or pain.
- Clean and monitor your access daily to prevent serious problems.
- Skin around the exit site should not be red or swollen.
- Drainage at the exit site may mean an infection and needs to be reported to your SKI physician immediately.
- Sometimes small scabs can form at the exit site; do not remove these scabs. Your SKI care team will teach you how to take care of these areas.
- Your exit site should not hurt.
- Feel the catheter tunnel (where the catheter is under the skin) to ensure no swelling or tenderness exists.
- Inspect the catheter and adapter regularly for cracks as bacteria or other contaminants can get in and cause infection.
- Always secure the catheter end to your skin or dressing to prevent tension and tugging.
- Shower daily following your treatment and wear clean clothes.
- Do not put anything on your exit site such as lotion, powder or creams without checking with your SKI physician first.