How much dialysis is enough?
The standard dialysis regime consists of three treatments a week, of roughly four hours duration. this can vary depending on numerous factors, including the weight and diet of the patient.
Somthing which dialysis patients should consider, is increasing the amount of dialysis which they undertake. This can benefit the patient in a number of ways:
- Better blood toxin clearances
- Lower Ultrafiltration rates mean less stress on the cardiovascular system
- Ability to remove more fluid from the patient means less restrictive fluid regime.
- Ability to remove more blood toxins means a less restrictive renal diet
There are many factors which will influence whether a dialysis patient can increase their dialysis hours, such as:
- Will their health fund pay for the extra dialysis?
- Is there room in the dialysis unit available?
- Does it fit in with the patients lifestyle?
- Does the dialysis unit allow more than three treatments a week?
Rather than simply increase the amount of hours spent on dialysis from, say, four hours to five, patients who are interested in increasing their amount of dialysis should consider dialysing an extra shift a week. A patient who normally dialyses Monday/Wednesday/Friday afternoons could request an extra dialysis on Saturday afternoon. This has the extra benefit of the patient having a (almost) night off from being a dialysis patient. As they are dialysing on Friday afternoon, and again Saturday afternoon, they are able to be a little more liberal with their fluid and dietary restrictions.