Friday February 29, 2008
Linda Marion was diagnosed with kidney failure five years ago.
Back then she would have never imagined that her check-up Friday would be her only trip to the doctor for the entire month.
"Coming to the clinic, I felt drained. After treatment I'd go home and have to go to bed," Marion complains. "Now I get up from treatment I go and do my normal routine: cook dinner, wash clothes."
Her "normal routine" now has Marion self-administering her dialysis through a Home Hemo system.
"It's really revolutionized and made possible people getting treated who either don't want to go to a dialysis center [or] who want to continue working and so it's impossible for them to get treatment in-center," explains Dr. Constance Christ, Director of the Davita Dialysis Clinic in Albemarle County.
"They don't tend to hold onto as much fluid," says Dr. Kevin McConnell, a nephrologist at Davita, before adding, "the real advantage for patients is the convenience. They have a lot more freedom with regard to being able to move around, their diet and approach a more normal life style."
The Home Hemo machine is much smaller than normal dialysis, which often requires massive purifying and filtering tanks, and that means it's portable.
Linda Marion says when she did dialysis, she had to miss out on family vacations to Tennessee. Now that she's on Home Hemo, she's got big plans to play Grandma.
"I have four children, five grandchildren. So we rent a huge house, everybody goes together. We have a great time. It's wonderful."
The folks at Davita say as beneficial as this new technology seems to be, it's still not gone mainstream. With nursing shortages and tight budgets, they say Home Hemo ought to be in widespread use in the next five years.
If you want more information on this developing technology in kidney care, go to www.davita.com.
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