TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – There are nearly a half-million Americans on dialysis, a time-consuming treatment that most patients dread.
A typical dialysis patient would go to a clinic three times a week and spend hours hooked up to a machine, but a smaller take-home version is giving those patients more freedom.
“This way I don’t have to worry about coming in; I can just do it at home,” Trudy Gildersleeve, a dialysis patient, said.
When Gildersleeve learned her kidney failure would require dialysis, she thought life as she knew it was over.
“Thought I’d be in the center sitting in a chair all day long.”
An implanted dialysis catheter and a printer-sized machine means patients like Gildersleeve can stay home.
“Oh my gosh, it’s hard to put into words how much benefit I think there is,” Vincent Carsillo, Fresenius Kidney Care Physician, said.
Fresenius Kidney Care has a new location on North Greenbush Road in Troy where physician Carsillo offers patients the training to administer their own treatment.
“The privacy, the autonomy, the schedule flexibility, the ability to travel.”
Instead of four hour-long treatments at a center, Gildersleeve will run the machine herself – inserting a cartridge and following the on-screen color-coded prompts.
She’ll get up to 10 hours of treatment all while she sleeps.
“I don’t think there’s a lot of people that do know about it. I’ve talked to friends and things like that, and they’ve never heard of it.”
Only eight percent of patients in the U.S. opt for in-home dialysis. Carsillo says the risks are minimal and the treatment is cost-saving.
“Not just on all of those hospital days, that in many cases are not needed, but in a therapy, that’s less expensive.”
The center works with insurers and Medicare and even ships the equipment right to your door, providing a comfort that Gildersleeve says will give her a better life.
“It should not be about staying alive; it should be about living your life,” Carsillo said.
Everyone learns at a different pace, but it usually takes about a dozen training sessions before a patient can administer their own dialysis at home.