Ontario Renal Network | Reseau Renal de L'Ontario

Independent Dialysis

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Home dialysis, or independent dialysis, is when the patient self-administers the treatment in their own home, without direct medical intervention.

All patients who are psychologically, medically and socially suitable for home dialysis should be encouraged to adopt the appropriate home modality.

Studies show that quality of life is better and patients feel their symptoms are better controlled with home-based treatments, as the treatments are extended and more intensive than in-centre treatments.

Types of dialysis

  • Home hemodialysis:
    • Nocturnal
    • Short-daily
    • Conventional
  • Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is self-administered while the patient sleeps or through regular exchanges throughout the day.

Choosing between peritoneal dialysis (PD) and hemodialysis (HD)

Peritoneal dialysis is less complex than hemodialysis and requires fewer training days.

Peritoneal dialysis is less effective than hemodialysis for patients who are:

  • Obese
  • Have little or no residual kidney function
  • Have had a lot of previous abdominal surgery resulting in adhesions

We have developed the Home Hemodialysis Utility Grant to offset the added utility (water and electricity) costs for patients who are conducting hemodialysis treatments in their own home.

woman smiling

Which patients are the best fit for home-based dialysis?

Home dialysis is not suitable for every patient. The best candidates fit this profile:

  • Emotionally and cognitively competent
  • Stable medical condition
  • Has a dependable dialysis care partner or provider available to help if necessary
  • Has sufficient water, electricity and space available in the home to accommodate the equipment

Why increase home-based dialysis?

  • Offers a greater choice for appropriate patients.
  • A flexible treatment schedule
  • Privacy
  • More time with family
  • Patients maintain independence and manage their own condition
  • Convenience because there is no need to travel to a facility for treatment
  • Intense therapy means:
    • Patients receive more dialysis and better clearance of toxins
    • A better prognosis in terms of survival, frequency of illness, rehabilitation, and ability to work outside the home.
  • Home hemodialysis improves a patient’s energy levels and life expectancy1.
  • From a system perspective, home-based dialysis is more cost-effective2.
  1. 1. National Kidney Foundation http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/homehemo.cfm
  2. 2. National Kidney Foundation.Home-based Hemodialysis. http://www.kidney.org/patients/plu/plu_hemo/pluo_10.cfm Accessed September 1, 2011. 2:15 p.m.