In-center dialysis is the hardest treatment option to travel with. As you probably found out, you have to plan ahead. Spontaneous trips are almost impossible unless it’s for an emergency. A lot of paperwork needs to be done and sent. Most clinics require 30-60 days’ notice and some are always full. Many times businesses expect their employees to travel with shorter notice than that. However, sometimes businesses are finding that work can often be done cheaper and with greater efficiency by teleconference or webinar. Is that possible for this trip?
Be especially careful about what you eat and drink on Sunday and Monday because you’ll be going 3 days without dialysis instead of 2 and sometimes going 2 days without dialysis can put patients at higher risk of fluid overload which can be uncomfortable and make it difficult to breathe and having high potassium, which can be deadly. Your dietitian can be a great resource for helping you avoid those problems. Have you talked with your clinic to see if you can get the first shift on Tuesday? If not, I do that ASAP.
Home dialysis options, especially PD, are much easier to do when you travel. With enough notice, supplies can be shipped to the location where you’re traveling if you’ll be gone several days. If you need to go with little notice and you can travel by car, you can take the supplies with you. The PD cycler weighs about 25 lbs. and can be easily transported in a car or on a plane.
Standard HD machines are not portable, but there is a small HD machine that is used for short dialysis (called the NxStage) that is significantly smaller than the in-center HD machine. It weighs about 70 lbs., more in a travel case. It’s not easy for some people to lift it into a car by themselves, but others are able to do it with or without help. It can be transported in a case on a plane.
You might want to check out the information about treatment options, equipment for home HD and PD, and more from the Home Dialysis Central homepage (Home at the top of this page). Here’s an article about traveling with a PD cycler or NxStage machine.