Most people start dialysis when they begin experiencing symptoms of kidney failure, including fatigue, weakness, and swelling. Hemodialysis is an option to keep those with end-stage kidney failure comfortable. Most people complete these treatments three times a week at dialysis centers. Before your first appointment, arrange medical transportation and take a few steps to prepare. The guide below helps you understand what to expect.
What Happens During a Hemodialysis Session?
During hemodialysis, the blood is filtered through a dialyzer, sometimes called an artificial kidney. The procedure removes extra salt, water, and other waste from the blood. It also helps control blood pressure and keep a safe level of minerals, such as sodium, potassium, and bicarbonate, in the body.
The treatment takes about four hours. First, the medical professional places two needles in your arm, both of which are connected to the dialysis machine. Your blood travels into the machine through soft tubes and the dialysis solution flows in the opposite direction, absorbing waste products. The machine then pushes the filtered blood into your system.
What Should You Do Before the First Session?
Physicians help you prepare for hemodialysis over several months. They place access points in the body so the machine can work properly. There are three types of accesses, including arteriovenous (AV) fistulas that go in the arm, AV grafts that connect when blood vessels are too small for fistulas, and central venous catheters that go in the neck or groin area for emergency treatment.
On the day before your first doctor’s appointment for hemodialysis, eat foods that fit the meal plan your physician has developed. These include ingredients with healthy levels of fluids, potassium, phosphorus, and protein. Take any prescribed medications on schedule. Since you may experience cramps and nausea after the treatment, book a ride home with a medical transportation service.
If you need a medical transportation company to help you get to and from your hemodialysis treatments, choose Agape Transportation in the Bronx, NY. Serving clients in New York City and Westchester County, they help Medicaid and Medicare recipients reach health care facilities comfortable and affordably. They offer 24/7 customer support and a fleet of accessible vehicles that pass strict safety checks. Visit their website to learn more about their work, or call (718) 585-2222 to arrange a ride.