I read of this in a machine brochure. It doesn’t give any details, however. Can anyone elaborate?
It’s a built-in option on the Fresenius 2008K machines - just a button selection on the display screen. I don’t know about any other machines. It’s supposed to be a viable option for long nocturnal treatments, because obviously, using only one needle to both take and return blood is not going to be as efficient as two needles - so shorter treatments would suffer. I guess it might be useful for someone who has access problems. I’ve never used it, but I’ve heard it’s kind of noisy.
The Renal Solutions Allient Sorbent machine is also engineered to permit single or double needle treatments. It has a specially designed blood pump that makes either one possible. Using one needle means fewer access punctures, which may help the access last longer. This machine has been approved by the FDA and I believe you’ll be hearing more about it in the months to come. It only uses 6 gallons of tap water (1.5 liters) per treatment.
Frankly, I don’t think very many people would opt for single needle access unless it’s absolutely necessary. I mean, who would want less efficient dialysis for the same length of treatment time sitting or lying there tied up to a dialysis machine?
You may be right–I don’t believe single needle dialysis is very widespread now. Perhaps it will be used more with nocturnal, as you suggested.
From what I’ve read, problems with adequacy with single needle dialysis relates to when you need high blood flows which can cause recirculation in the dialysis access.
I found this link to an article on nocturnal home hemodialysis from Toronto that discusses single needle dialysis and states that it works well with nocturnal dialysis because it doesn’t require high blood flows:
I also did a Google search for single needle dialysis and one of the links was the Renal Solutions site where it describes the Allient Sorbent technology using single needles and states that recirculation is less than 1% because of the way the “Pulsar Blood Pump” works.
I believe in our program patients with grafts are required to use single needle. Patients with access problems go to single needle. And some patients (depending on size etc.) use single needle for the convenience. It is only 1 needle to deal with and the staff seems to think there are less air alarms with the single needle. Never having using a fistula I don’t know how frequent air alarms are or if this is worth getting concerned about.