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Can the frequency of kidney dialysis be reduced?

Monday, 14 March 2005
Answered by: Dr. Vijay Kher
Consultant Nephrologist,
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals,
New Delhi
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Q. My father is undergoing dialysis twice a week. He goes to the hospital for the dialysis. Can the frequency of dialysis be reduced by some other means? Can the dialysis be done once a week, since it is a costly affair? He is urinating regularly during the day.

A.  When a person’s kidney function is irreversibly reduced to less than 10-15% then the only option for meaningful quality and quantity of life is either through a successful kidney transplant or dialysis. The hemodialysis is traditionally done thrice a week world over and since dialysis does not have any effect on the kidney function and the need for cleaning remains same or gets more, the quantum of dialysis has to be adequate. To cross a river you cant make half a jump. It is either not done or done adequately. In India there is already a compromise on twice a week dialysis. Once a week or less is only accepting greater degrees of compromises. Every degree of compromise carries its risks and if that is acceptable and understood, then it is fine.

A.  When a person’s kidney function is irreversibly reduced to less than 10-15% then the only option for meaningful quality and quantity of life is either through a successful kidney transplant or dialysis. The hemodialysis is traditionally done thrice a week world over and since dialysis does not have any effect on the kidney function and the need for cleaning remains same or gets more, the quantum of dialysis has to be adequate. To cross a river you cant make half a jump. It is either not done or done adequately. In India there is already a compromise on twice a week dialysis. Once a week or less is only accepting greater degrees of compromises. Every degree of compromise carries its risks and if that is acceptable and understood, then it is fine.

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