People diagnosed with kidney failure are rapidly increasing in number in India. A study estimates that nearly one lakh patients undergo regular dialysis in India, with the demand growing at 31% annually.
Dialysis is one of the first technological innovations in medicine that allows a patient to deal with the end stage kidney disease without an organ transplant to live a long, healthy and productive life.
However, most people undergoing dialysis prefer to undergo the procedure in a hospital.
There are several reasons why people prefer to do dialysis at a center rather than at home.
1. Lack of space to have a dedicated unit at home – This is one of the main reasons why patients choose in-centre dialysis care at all times. Setting up a home dialysis unit requires adequate space, as well as other adjustments that can be difficult.
2. Proper Sanitization – Sanitization is a must for dialysis. Maintaining the cleanliness may be challenging at home compared to a dialysis center.
3. Change of a place can help to give a boost in the patient’s morale – Staying at home might be a little overwhelming for any patient to receive the treatment in one go while at clinics the patient can come in contact with similar patients undergoing the same treatment. It not only boosts the confidence but also helps in developing a positive attitude towards every session.
4. The cost factor – The perception that home dialysis can be very expensive is another deterrent to adopting this practice.
Many of these beliefs have changed with the COVID-19 pandemic. Dialysis centres are predominantly concentrated in the metropolitan cities, forcing the population from small towns or cities to travel to the nearest hospital. The process can be cumbersome and exhausting, and during the pandemic, dangerous as well, since many patients with kidney diseases are more vulnerable to the virus.
This has led to an increasing interest in home dialysis. In countries like New Zealand and Australia, home dialysis has been adopted as an option over the last few years. In India, given various geographical and demographic challenges, home dialysis can prove to be a game changer.