Dialysis is life-sustaining care for those whose kidneys are failing. When the kidneys fail, they cannot do their jobs of filtering the blood and ridding the body of toxins, waste products and excess fluids. Dialysis, along with medication and proper diet, can take the place of many functions of healthy kidneys.
Ochsner Nephrology experienced in providing different dialysis options for patients, which include:
- Acute dialysis (hospitalization inpatient)
- Chronic outpatient dialysis
At Ochsner’s Acute Dialysis Department, their primary goal is to provide the best experience possible to patients needing vascular access procedures or hemodialysis therapy. This includes comfort, timeliness, safety and effectiveness.
Patients can expect prompt service in dialysis and a safe and effective treatment. They can also look forward to:
- Comfortable treatment and privacy during transport and treatment
- An explanation of all procedures and any medicines you get
- A healthcare team that cares about you as a person and listens and responds to your concerns
- Meet or exceed all regulatory compliance guidelines
- Promote patient and visitor satisfaction and exceed expectations whenever possible
- Increase patient and visitor educational opportunities
- Achieve all clinical targets established by the quality assurance committee
- Promote excellence in nursing through education, certification and clinical ladder
- Maintain a work environment conducive to high employee morale and, thus, better patient care
- Utilize state-of-the-art technology and provide the most current evidence-based care to patients
The key quality initiatives for the Acute Dialysis Department are:
- Anticoagulation management: Reducing risk of clotting during dialysis and avoid post-dialysis bleeding
- Blood pressure management: Reducing blood pressure drops during dialysis
- Ultrafiltration management: Optimizing safe fluid removal to achieve treatment goal
- Patient education: Assuring every patient is given information needed and desired to understand plan of care during and after hospitalization
Chronic Outpatient Dialysis
There are a number of treatment options listed below for patients needing chronic dialysis support. It is important to contact your nephrologist to determine which treatment choice is best for you. There are many factors that go into your decision and your Ochsner nephrology team is here to support you on making the best choice for your care.
- Outpatient Hemodialysis is a method of removing waste products and extra fluid that builds up when the kidneys are no longer able to remove them. To perform hemodialysis, it is necessary to filter your blood through an artificial kidney, which is attached to a machine. A very small amount of blood is removed and returned to one of your veins, which has surgically been adapted for this.
- Home Hemodialysis can be done at home by you and a partner. You and your partner would participate in an extensive training program to learn how to set up the machine, initiate the dialysis treatment, and discontinue the treatment. Home hemodialysis allows you to schedule your treatments to fit your routine. Patients still come to the dialysis facility for a monthly visit to see the nurse, social worker, dietitian, and nephrologist.
- Home Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) uses a thin membrane in your abdomen, called the peritoneum, to perform dialysis. During treatments, a cleansing fluid called dialysate is put into your abdomen through a small, flexible tube called a PD catheter. The dialysate pulls the waste and extra fluid from your blood into the peritoneal cavity.
- Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD), there are typically four exchanges of the dialysate done daily, with each exchange taking approximately 45 minutes.
- Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD), uses a machine to drain the dialysate in and out of the body. CCPD is usually performed for eight to ten hours daily, and you are able to do this treatment at night while sleeping.
- Kidney Transplant is a surgical procedure performed to give you a healthy, functional kidney that will perform all of the functions that a damaged one can no longer do. A transplanted kidney is either donated from a living donor such as a spouse, family member or friend or the kidney can come from a deceased (cadaveric) donor. Not all patients with kidney failure are acceptable candidates for transplant, but if you are interested, you should let your nephrologist and social worker know. A referral can be made to a transplant center of your choice, and the transplant center can then determine if you meet the initial criteria and assist you with further evaluation.