QUEEN Alexandra Hospital is letting kidney patients know it has a dialysis machine that they can take home.
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA, has bought home dialysis machines, so patients can enjoy a better quality of life.
Consultant nephrologist Dr Natalie Borman said: ‘Our home haemodialysis programme was re-established in the Wessex Renal and Transplantation Unit in QA in 2009.
‘This was in response to increasing evidence that more frequent dialysis is associated with improved survival, better patient outcomes and improved quality of life.
‘Standard haemodialysis requires patients to attend a unit three times a week at a set time for a four-hour session.
‘Dialysing at home gives patients with kidney failure control over the timing of their dialysis allowing them to fit it around day-to-day life.
‘A patient can either dialyse for short daily sessions or overnight, leaving their days free, and they are also less restricted in their dietary and fluid intake.’
QA uses a portable machine and allows patients to travel abroad with it.
Dr Borman added: ‘Dialysing at home has such a positive impact on patients’ quality of life and empowers them to be in control, giving them their freedom back.
‘We have trained more than 50 patients to date and have had great success with our programme.
‘The feedback has been extremely positive and the clinical benefits are clearly seen.
‘We’re continuing to expand the programme and have many more patients set to train.
‘Our aim is to make home haemodialysis an option for any dialysis patient who would like to have it.’
Patient Debbie Wood has been using home dialysis.
She said: ‘This way, things fit in with my way of life. The machine is about the size of a microwave.’
The kidneys filter the blood to rid the body of harmful waste, extra salt, and water.
If a person has a renal problem, then dialysis is offered to mimic the kidneys’ function.
But it can mean patients need to be in hospital three times a week for up to four hours a time.