Firstly, I am sorry to have been tardy in responding to your post – it is Christmas eve here right now and I have just finished my long-performed and annual ‘gig’ at the neighbourhood Carol Service as Father Christmas (or, in US language - Santa) to 150 kids … so, there has been much Ho Ho Ho’ing and a lot of fake whiskers up my nose!
As for your post … I know it is too late but I think the response your mothers nurse gave of ‘no way’ when asked if nocturnal dialysis was a possibility was a response made out of total ignorance - or possibly out of fear - of a modality about which she clearly had no knowledge and certainly no understanding. Your thought that it may have been a ‘can’t be bothered’ response may also be close to the truth! However, to be chaitable (it’s Christmas) to the nurse, I suspect she is no different to the vast army of dialysis nurses across the US who have simply NO exposure, NO training, NO teaching about and NO understanding of optimum dialysis. As Dori has said in her response, US standard in-centre dialysis is woefully short and inadequate and is way behind even the ‘conventional’ and ‘standard’ dialysis facility-based care provided elsewhere in the world (Australia 4.5-5 hours, Japan 5+ hours etc …). So, it is not the nurses fault. But … it is the responsibility of the sytem in which she works to change practice to better regimens.
As for contraindications to nocturnal dialysis … I don’t believe there are any at all that I can think of … nary a one! This is especially so for facility-based nocturnal therapy where I can think of no conceivable reason to say that it might be contraindicated!
Age? … rubbish. There are many sprightly 80-90 year olds and some very doubtful 40-50 year olds … age is how old you feel, act and think, not a chronological number on a page. Though we do home-based and not facility-based nocturnal dialysis here in Australia, the oldest patient in our home self-management program is 82. He was 74 when he 1st went home, has had only two short AVF access revision admissions to hospital in 8 years of home HD (his only admissions) and has dialysed alone, at home (unaccompanied, unassisted) all of those eight years, his wife having died prior to his starting dialysis. Indeed 11 of our 36 home NHD patients are >70, 5 are 76-82 and 4 of these 11 are lone and unaccompanied dialysors. So … age as a contraindication? Rubbish!
Poor cardiac function? … no, too! The whole raison d’etre for long, slow, (and especially if also frequent) dialysis is the gentleness of it. I have discussed the benefits provided to cardiac function by NHD previously in a number of posts at this site … again, this is a reason why I should (sometime) go through the various key answers I have given in the past, categorise them and somehow turn them into a more easily searchable resource! If only I had the time … … But, the whole underpinning of the advantage of long slow frequent dialysis (nocturnal dialysis) is the lack of cardiovascular instability associated with it. This benefits the heart and is an advantage for those whose hearts are ‘a bit dicky’ … an Oz expression for ‘iffy’. Here, her answer was clearly given in ignorance of the facts.
Ineligible? … no way! We would do all our dialysis patients a favour by providing longer, slower, gentler and more frequent dialysis. This can only be accomplished through ‘while-sleeping’ dialysis, not only achieving better dialysis but also freeing waking hours for what wakefulness is designed to allow … life!
Though I apologise if the following offends readers - it shouldn’t - I have often used an analogy in my lecturs on NHHD which was first taught to me by my ‘better dialysis guide and teacher’ - Andreas Pierratos - who once said to me … John, good dialysis is like good lovemaking - the longer, the slower, the gentler and the more often, the better.
So … on all counts … ‘no way’ was a dark-ages response. Inch by inch, some of us are trying to drag our colleagues into the light. It may not happen in my time … but it will happen. The more ‘Moosemums’ out there who are prepared to question the status quo, the better!