SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • artificial kidney;
  • haemodialysis;
  • history;
  • home haemodialysis;
  • peritoneal dialysis;
  • quality of life

SUMMARY:  Home haemodialysis was first developed 40 years ago as a means of treating more patients with the limited funds then available. It soon became obvious that the treatment worked well and subsequent studies and experience have confirmed that it improves both mortality and morbidity and provides the best quality of life and other benefits for dialysis patients. The present review describes the history of the development of home haemodialysis in Seattle and elsewhere and the lessons learned about its benefits in the early days, which are just as relevant today. The advantages and disadvantages are discussed, as are the issues of which patients are candidates for this treatment and what is required of a home haemodialysis training and support programme. The decline in use of home haemodialysis in the USA and elsewhere is described and the actions that may already be beginning to reverse this trend. The role of home haemodialysis in giving the opportunity for longer hours of dialysis three times a week or on alternate nights is important. There is discussion of the relationship of home haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis and its important future role as the means to enable treatment with more frequent short daily and long nightly haemodialysis.