‘Being on home dialysis is easier for my work and my family life’
By Máire Ní Dhuinneacha
INVESTMENT in renal services at Tallaght University Hospital has resulted in 21 per cent of renal patients now opting for home dialysis – which reduced hospital visits for dialysis by 3,700 in 2020.
As World Kidney Day was celebrated, the HSE National Renal Office highlighted the supports it has put in place for renal patients through the enhanced provision of home dialysis therapy.
According to the HSE, home dialysis therapy has helped to keep renal patients safe from Covid-19.
Information provided to The Echo by Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) cites how investment in home dialysis therapy has seen a 10 per cent increase in the number of patients opting to choose home therapy.
At TUH, more than one fifth of its renal patients are now opting for home dialysis.
“This means these patients avoid unnecessary travelling to and from hospital for treatment and the risk of exposure to Covid-19 in a hospital setting”, the hospital said.
“This reduced the number of hospital visits for dialysis by 3,700 in TUH.”
Local dad Philip Corcoran is among a number of people benefiting from home dialysis therapy, which alongside improving quality of life has helped keep renal patients safe from Covid-19.
A new dialysis facility called the Vartry opened in TUH in October 2020
Living in Tallaght, Philip (50) is a busy dad to two daughters, and even busier now that he’s back doing school runs.
Living in Kilnamanagh, Philip, who grew up in Dominic’s, has been on dialysis since 2005, and has opted for home dialysis for the past 10 years.
As more renal patients at TUH opt for home therapy, we spoke with Philip about the difference it has had on his life.
According to Philip, he attended hospital three days a week for four-hour sessions prior to opting for home dialysis – and he now undergoes home dialysis three nights a week, for eight hours.
“Home dialysis means I’ve no restrictions on diet and fluid intake”, Philip said.
“The dialysis takes fluids and toxins out and because I’m doing eight-hour sessions, my diet and fluid intake is not as restricted.
“I do my dialysis nocturnally so I do it over eight hours, overnight three days a week, which gives me a lot more freedom during the day.
“My bloods are all good once I do my dialysis.”
He added: “Being on home dialysis is easier for my work and family life… I’ve a lot more freedom.
“I have to do dialysis, I’ve no choice so you work around going to the hospital.
“However, you have to work around the hospital schedule, it’s hard to swap appointments as there’s other patients involved.”
John Semple (66), who lives in Firhouse, has started doing APD (automated peritoneal dialysis) at home every night, for eight hours.
“So far, so good, doing home dialysis every night”, John said.
“It gives me freedom during the day and I don’t have to go into hospital for dialysis.
“I am high risk for Covid, one in four people on dialysis is at high risk of dying from Covid so I’m glad I can do my dialysis at home.
“My machine broadcasts to the team of nurses in the renal unit in Tallaght.
“You can always call one of the team of nurses and it’s nice to know they’re there.”
During the pandemic, renal services had to respond quickly.
According to Professor George Mellotte, who is based at TUH is the HSE’s National Clinical of Lead Renal Services: “We adapted by creating new ways to help avoid hospital-based dialysis where possible and also to protect patients who could only receive their dialysis in hospital settings.
“For our patients, home dialysis has improved their quality of life while providing patients with
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