Switch from dialysis clinic to home dialysis insight?


I am new on this forum and came across this when I was trying to seek accommodations for my dad on a flight, and saw that some airlines allow portable dialysis machines. My dad has been on dialysis for 10 years now, and when he first started, the options for home dialysis seemed overwhelming and we were new to this life change and did not feel it was safe at that point for him to do dialysis at home.

I have been doing research and saw that there are more options with even the sizes and differences with at-home machines, and I wanted to gain more information. As a family, we stopped traveling for the entire decade and before my dad’s diagnosis we would take a lot of trips and travel. I see that now we might have a chance to do so without being terrified or constantly anxious about the availabilities and scheduling of treatments when we travel. Sorry for going off on a tangent, but I guess I just wanted to get a sense of how at-home dialysis is, and just information for the possible change if we decide to do so.

My dad is diabetic and 57 years old, and he has had two transplants (2015 and 2021) and both have failed due to a renal thrombosis because of a blood disorder, and he is not eligible for anymore transplants. He is also very prone to fluid retention and pneumonia and that is why we are scared about the home dialysis. He also has a fistula on his arm as his access site.

I hope that maybe with home dialysis, he can gain more control over his schedule and life. That is why I wanted to get more information and just insight. I apologize if the information might seem vague. Thank you all so much.

Patients can and do travel on home dialysis. Does your father do HD in a clinic that trains people to do PD or home HD? If so, he should talk with the social worker and home training nurse about traveling on home dialysis. I’ve known patients who traveled by car, plane, RV, and even on a cruise. Generally the patient takes the machine and supplies with them but if they’re traveling for more than a short trip, they can have supplies shipped to their destination.

The machines for peritoneal dialysis (PD) made by Baxter and Fresenius are lighter than the one home hemodialysis (home HD) machine made by NxStage that can be taken on a trip. See what home dialysis machines for PD and HD look like here.

Here’s an article about traveling by plane that offers lots of tips and includes the Dept of Transportation rules for dialysis machines on planes (they and supplies packed separately go for free).

Check out this webinar video of 4 patients who have traveled on home dialysis, Dialysis at Home: Lets Talk About It: On The Road with Travel Tips from Dialyzors - YouTube

You can find multiple videos of patients who have traveled on home dialysis (PD and HD) on YouTube here.

You and your father might want to consider joining our Facebook group. Click the link below and answer 4 simple questions to be admitted as a member to this closed group. What’s posted in the group stays in the group. With over 7000 members, it gets much more traffic than our message board.