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    « Restoring my faith | Main | Where is my kidney coming from? »

    September 08, 2008

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    Rich Berkowitz

    Peter, is there a reason why you're not doing home dialysis. Quite frankly, if I wasn't able to change from conventional in-center treatments, I wouldn't have been here to read your post. Home hemodialysis literally has saved my life.

    Peter Laird, MD

    Dear Rich,

    I am currently working with my unit on home dialysis, but the difficulty is that Fresenius is in the middle of a lawsuit over patent violations alleged by Baxter. At the present time, FMC does not have a machine that I can use at home and they do not wish to use the standard in unit models as well.

    In such, I will explore the NxStage and whether it will work well for my situation. The standard FMC home machines have better clearances than the NxStage but the FMC machines are not portable. Hopefully by November, I will no longer have to deal with travel to poorly run units any longer since the NxStage is my only option at this time.

    In the mean time, I and others that understand the limitations of standard three days a week dialysis worsened by decisions made by directors of these units to forgo the F200 and instead use the F180 artificial kidney for a total cost savings of $3.00 per session must stand up and voice our concern that business decisions are costing patients their lives and their health.

    Gambro has a 170 and 210 artificial kidney. I was just informed by one of my techs that another local unit is going to the Gambro 170 exclusively no matter how much the patient weighs and will not use the 210 at all. I find treatments that benefit the doctor financially and not the patient is a total violation of the fiduciary trust given to my profession. In such, I stand against these practices as should all doctors, nurses, techs and most especially, patients.

    Perhaps the largest difficulty we face is that the majority of patients do not know enough about their own treatments to be able to question what they are recieving and whether they are recieving optimal therapy. It is time to educate our fellow CKD-5 patients to stand united in demanding optimal renal care which will also produce substantial cost savings, and more importantly, save many lives.

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