Home and community self-care dialysis therapies
You may be able to manage your own dialysis treatment at home or near your community in a special facility for dialysis patients. You will need to be assessed and trained before starting home haemodialysis.
This gives you lots of freedom to continue to live your life instead of moving to Darwin or Alice Springs for your treatment.
You will be shown how to dialyse yourself in one of the training centres in the Northern Territory (NT) and will have follow-up visits from nurses once you are back at home. The training can be from a few weeks to a few months, depending on how quickly you can learn.
You can have either:
- peritoneal dialysis - when you change bags of fluid through a tube that is connected to your abdomen
- or haemodialysis - when you go to a special facility or use a machine in your home, or in a community-based facility near your home.
You may be able to have your treatments either at home or in one of the 18 community-based haemodialysis facilities in remote areas of the NT.
Remote community dialysis facilities
In the Top End, there are dialysis facilities in all of the following communities:
In Central Australia, there are dialysis facilities in:
- Ti Tree
- Lake Nash
- Ali Curung
This is the most portable type of dialysis. It is simple and can be taught to you in one week to a few weeks or months, depending on how quickly you can learn.
You connect and disconnect sterile bags of dialysis fluid into a special tube in your stomach/abdomen. You will have surgery to make a hole in your abdomen for the tube that you will use to connect the dialysis bags.
There is also an automated machine that can do the peritoneal dialysis exchanges overnight while you sleep. This needs extra training and a reliable power supply.
Training is usually done at the Peritoneal Dialysis Centre based at the Casuarina village in Darwin. You can also be trained by specialised peritoneal dialysis nurses near your home.
Community self-care haemodialysis
This involves going to a special community clinic instead of a hospital to have your dialysis treatment. Most major health centres have dialysis equipment that patients can use.
Some patients also have dialysis machines in their own homes. Home haemodialysis training centres are in Darwin and Alice Springs. The training can take anything from a few weeks to a few months, depending on how quickly you can learn.
The home haemodialysis training centre in Darwin is based at the Nightcliff renal unit. Some people start their training within their usual haemodialysis units before going to the Nightcliff unit to finish training.