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GRAPHIC:  ResearchNext Generation

Do-it-yourself dialysis

Thanks to a new instrument that brings kidney dialysis home, patients no longer have to schedule their lives around treatment. Orly Kohn, assistant professor of nephrology, is helping pioneer the technology as doctor to two of the 100 patients using the machine in the United States and Britain.

After three to four weeks of training, patients dialyze daily as opposed to the thrice-weekly clinic schedule. Although total weekly treatment time remains 12 hours, the more frequent dialysis keeps toxins closer to normal levels. Patients experience less exhaustion, heart failure, blood-pressure problems, and fluid overload, according to Kohn. The instrument’s prompt-based interface and self-sterilizing capabilities, she says, make it user-friendly.

“It bothers me when I have to send these patients who are otherwise totally independent to the center. It really can be a crisis for them,” says Kohn, who plans to add three new patients in coming months. “They go because they have no other choice at that point. Now we have an alternative.”—S.I.A.

image:  next generationCourtesy Aksys, Ltd.



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