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.