What is Haemodialysis?
Haemodialysis is a way of cleansing the blood of toxins, extra salt and fluids through a dialysis machine. It helps maintain proper chemical balance such as potassium, sodium and chloride and keeps blood pressure under control.
Frequently Asked Questions
Start of Dialysis
Before dialysis begins, 2 needles will be inserted into the vascular access, one to remove the blood and the other to return cleansed blood to the body.
The patient is connected (via tubing) to the dialysis machine through a vein in the arm, the blood is pumped from the body to a special filter (dialyser), which is made of tiny capillaries.
Blood is continuously pumped through the dialyser, where waste products and excess water are removed.
The blood becomes purified when the waste products diffuse from the blood across the membrane of these tiny capillaries in the dialyser. Purified blood is then returned to the patient’s body through larger tubes.
Haemodialysis is performed thrice a week at the dialysis centre, with each session lasting about 4 hours, depending on the body size and medical condition.
At NKF, patients choose between 2 sessions i.e. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays or Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. They can also choose the morning, afternoon or evening timeslot.
Before & During Dialysis
- Clean the skin covering the access before inserting the needles to avoid infection
- Inform the nurse immediately if any signs of infection are observed
- Ensure that your blood is flowing and not clotting while on treatment
- Ensure that the catheter is kept dry, even when taking a bath
Fistula / Graft Care
- Check that the fistula / graft is working by feeling for the buzzing sensation every morning and night
- Inform the nurse if signs of infection are observed, i.e. redness, blood or pus oozing, swelling
- Wear anything tight around the fistula / graft arm i.e. watches, bracelets, tight clothing
- Allow non-dialysis staff to take blood or blood pressure on your fistula / graft arm