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Dialysis (Nephrology)

What is dialysis?

Hemodialysis, or dialysis, is the most common method used to treat advanced and permaUVH Dialysisnent kidney failure.  Healthy kidneys clean your blood by removing excess fluid, minerals, and wastes. They also make hormones that keep your bones strong and your blood healthy. When your kidneys fail, harmful wastes build up in your body, your blood pressure may rise, and your body may retain excess fluid and not make enough red blood cells. When this happens, you need treatment to replace the work of your failed kidneys.

What I need to know:

The treatments and related services are used to treat adult clients living with chronic renal failure who require dialysis treatments on a regular basis. Patients who suffer from chronic renal failure are referred to the Nephrology Program in Saint John for initial care planning.

If it is determined that you will need dialysis treatments on an on-going basis, you will be assessed for the best form of dialysis treatment - peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis.  You may also be considered for kidney transplant through our Transplant Program. 

Peritoneal dialysis uses the patient's peritoneum in the abdomen as a membrane across which fluids and dissolved substances are exchanged from the blood. Fluid is introduced through a permanent tube in the abdomen and flushed out either every night while you sleep (automatic peritoneal dialysis) or via regular exchanges throughout the day (continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis). This type of dialysis is done at home.

Hemodialysis uses a special machine (dialysis machine) to filter the waste products from blood and restore it to a normal form.  Most patients go to a clinic - a dialysis center - three times a week for 3 to 5 hours each visit. For example, you may be on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule or a Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday schedule. You may be asked to choose a morning or afternoon shift, depending on availability and capacity at the dialysis unit.  Hemodialysis can also be done in the home through the support of our Home Hemodialysis Program. 

Nephrology care is provided by the Nephrologists in Saint John while patients receive their treatments either in their homes or in the hemodialysis units.

Pediatric clients with chronic renal failure are normally referred to the Isaac Walton Killam Health Centre in Halifax for initial treatment planning, following which they are most often placed on a home dialysis program.

Facilities and programs offering this service:
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