2008K@home machine

Does anyone use the baby K machine for home txs? Would like to hear anything about your program.

My 2008K was the first “baby K”. It’s identical in every way to the Fresenius machines used in dialysis centres, except it’s shorter in height. It’s shorter by virtue of the lower part where the jugs sit being built shorter (it’s all mostly empty space down inside there anyway). The only advantage seems to be that it brings the controls closer to patient level, especially if in bed. Mine also has the ultrapure filter mounted on the back, an option which in-centre machines usually don’t have. The ultrapure filter is almost exactly like a special dialyzer. It sort of pre-dialyzes the water before it gets to the dialysate circuit.

The actual, more recent “baby K” is exactly the same except that the display screen and control panel have had some options removed that aren’t needed for home use, and the display screen itself can be turned off during the night. Normally, the display screen is very bright, just like any computer screen, and some people find it interferes with their sleep. So Fresenius added the option of a standby mode. Any original “baby K” can easily be converted to the latest one by changing the control panel module and software, but there really isn’t much point to doing so. It’s the same machine except as I described. When machine technicians refer to a “baby K”, they usually mean this newer version. Although I don’t have that one, other more recent patients in my program do.

In terms of the home dialysis program and training, it makes no difference whatsoever, since the machine is identical as the in-centre ones except as noted above, and it works exactly the same way.

People way overestimate the complexity of this machine. It’s actually very user-friendly compared to previous conventional machines, and by virtue of it’s logical and up-front layout, it’s very easy to understand what’s going on once you understand how dialysis works. Also relatively easy to troubleshoot the things you do yourself with the saline/blood circuit.


Hi Pierre,

How long did it take you to learn how to operate the machine and prepare for home dialysis?

Hi Beth.

It only really took a couple of weeks before I was setting it up myself with some supervision. In fact, I was doing that after the first week, not that there weren’t some frustrations along the way. The rest of the 6 weeks are just spent actually dialyzing and practicing a few emergency procedures as you dialyze, and also gaining confidence to be able and willing to go it alone at home. Somewhere around the 3rd week, the nurses let me do it and only checked on me once in a while. Some things are introduced gradually once you’ve learned everything else, like how to give yourself Venofer, how to take bloodwork, etc., but that applies to any dialysis machine.

When you start out and you don’t have a clue, a fully set-up machine looks like an impossible jumble of tubes, and you wonder how you will ever learn how to put it together. But once you know, you know. It’s not really a jumble at all, it just looks like it to the uninitiated. It’s a great feeling when you look at your machine fully setup, with a Venofer syringe hanging on it, and you know you did it all by yourself for the first time.

So, 6 weeks were plenty to learn everything needed to start at home and to make enough mistakes to learn from. The last couple of weeks were really redundant.