Advantages and Disadvantages of Hemodialysis

Introduction

While undergoing hemodialysis there are several considerations to be made. The first thing to be kept in mind is that any treatment is likely to cause differing responses in different individuals. Therefore, what may be advantageous to one person may pose a problem to another. It is due to this that it becomes necessary to consider the advantages and disadvantages of hemodialysis.

Advantages of In-center Hemodialysis

There are several advantages of in-center hemodialysis, but this does not necessarily have to be the best choice.
 

  • Easy Accessibility: Today almost all big hospitals have a hemodialysis wing. Furthermore, there are several dedicated hemodialysis centers situated in most towns and cities in abundance. So one can visit the hemodialysis nearest to the residence, and avail of the facilities offered with the least difficulty.

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  • Professional Treatment: The in-center hemodialysis units are certified and necessarily qualified. Hence, professional treatment is guaranteed and a prerequisite.

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  • Meet other Patients: While visiting your local hemodialysis center, you will get to meet other patients with similar conditions. This is not only a healthy social interaction, but it is also a means that you can compare notes and learn more about your condition. It is a good therapy to be able to see other people with similar problems as yours which makes you realize that you are not alone after all.

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  • Assistants not Required: Depending on the physical condition of the patient, regular hemodialysis at the in-center unit does not require a companion to accompany the patient. The patient only needs to reach the clinic, and then all the requirements are met.

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  • No Need for Equipment at Home: Since everything is available at the clinic, nothing needs to be kept in stock at home. All the required equipment and machinery will be provided at the clinic.

Disadvantages of In-center Hemodialysis

  • Inflexible Timings: The schedule and timings are planned by the center and there is not much scope to move the timings around. One has to plan the day according to the timings dictated by the hemodialysis center.

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  • Need to Commute: It can be a nuisance arranging for transportation on a daily basis. Depending on the traffic conditions and availability of transport, this can really be a real inconvenience.

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  • Diet Limitations: hemodialysis centers usually enforce very strict diets which is not suitable for all people.

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  • Financial Implications: There is a considerable cost involved which is not negotiable. Nor is the medication which has to be taken and there is not much choice offered to the patient.

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  • Fatigue Factor: It can be very tiring commuting to and from the hemodialysis center and due to this reason, it will take considerable time for the patient to feel better after treatment.

Advantages of Home Hemodialysis

  • Convenience of Timings: It is possible to schedule hemodialysis at one’s own convenience, in consultation with a doctor, of course.

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  • No Need to Commute: There is no travelling involved to the place where the hemodialysis has to be done.

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  • Higher Comfort Levels: As the patient is being treated in his or her own home, it is a much more relaxing experience.

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  • Portability of Equipment: The newer, portable machines which are likely to be the ones used at home allow for the patient to travel and go on holidays without disrupting the hemodialysis schedule.

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  • Family Comfort: With home hemodialysis, it is possible to spend more time with one’s loved ones.

Disadvantages of Home Hemodialysis

  • Assistant Required: There is a need for a partner to be present at all times during home hemodialysis.

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  • Training Needed: Both the patient and partner require to be trained in the hemodialysis procedures.

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  • Stressful Experience: The entire process of home hemodialysis can have a harrowing effect on the family of the patient, as several adjustments will have to be made which will put them to inconvenience.

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  • Need for Leave: The partner who is going to conduct the hemodialysis will have to take leave of absence for the training if not already trained in hemodialysis.

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  • Extra Space Requirements: Extra space will have to be arranged for storage of the equipment and supplies which are to be used for hemodialysis which can be a constraint in a small house or flat.

Side-Effects of Hemodialysis

While undergoing hemodialysis, it must be kept in mind that some side-effects may occur. The prior awareness of these side-effects may lead to a more comfortable experience. Listed below are a few side-effects of hemodialysis.
 

  • Low blood pressure

  • Fatigue

  • Chest pain

  • Leg cramps

  • Nausea


Further to the above mentioned symptoms, hemodialysis can also lead to infection of heart valves or bones. This kind of infection however, is very rare.