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In-Center Hemodialysis (HD)

Hemodialysis (HD) is a kidney replacement therapy option for patients with kidney failure. It’s a process in which your blood is filtered outside your body through a dialyzer or “artificial kidney” to remove unwanted waste, toxins and excess fluids. “Hemo” means blood and “dialysis” means filter.

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What are the dialysis access type(s) for this treatment?

A dialysis access is created or placed in your body, most commonly in your arm to connect you to the dialysis equipment so your blood can be cleaned.

Several factors help determine which type of dialysis access is best for you, including your veins and overall health.

Fistula: by connecting your own blood vessels found in your arm – also referred to as an arteriovenous fistula (AVF).
Graft: a piece of soft tubing inserted in your arm to connect an artery and a vein.
Hemodialysis catheter: a tube placed in your neck, chest or groin that is often used temporarily for certain conditions.
You should speak to your doctor to know the type of dialysis access best suited to your condition.

What are some of the key considerations?

Treatment is performed by trained nurses and/or technicians, so you can relax.
You can ask questions face-to-face whenever you’re there.
As well as your treatments, blood tests and checkups may be able to be done in the dialysis center.
You can connect with other people sharing similar experiences at your center.

What are typical treatment schedules?

Frequency and duration can vary by person, but is often 3 times a week, 4-5 hours per session.
Your doctor will prescribe the right amount of dialysis time for you. Your prescription may need to be adjusted over time to help you feel your best.

What are some of the key considerations?

Treatment is performed by trained nurses and/or technicians, so you can relax.
You can ask questions face-to-face whenever you’re there.
As well as your treatments, blood tests and checkups may be able to be done in the dialysis center.
You can connect with other people sharing similar experiences at your center.

Choosing a dialysis center

While your options may depend on where you are located, as well as other factors such as your health insurance, choosing your dialysis center is an important decision for your physical and emotional well-being. This is somewhere you will visit usually three times a week, so you will want to be comfortable with the people and environment there.

Visit before you decide. Before you make a decision, visit the center to meet the staff, see the facilities and ask questions, including what a typical treatment day is like.
Not all centers are the same. Observe whether the clinic is clean and well maintained. Look to see if customer service and education are top priorities.
Location. Consider how far you are able to travel for your treatment and then check how far the center is from your home, work or school.
Available schedules. Does the center offer treatments on the days & times that are suitable for you? Are there openings for new patients on your preferred days & times?

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