There are some 7,000 Israelis with kidney failure, most of whom must go to hospitals or clinics three or four times a week – reclining on a chair for four hours at a time – to undergo dialysis to remove toxins from their blood.
For the first time in Israel as part of hospital treatment, Assuta-Ashdod University Hospital offers to teach all dialysis patients and their family members, belonging to any of the four public health funds, how to perform home dialysis and to give them the necessary equipment.
Prof. Adi Leiba, head of the hospital’s nephrology department, said that all patients who are interested in the new program may undergo special training over a period of about two months at the hospital in a room that simulates a home living room. When they complete the course, they will receive a home dialysis machine from the hospital.
“Many dialysis patients are not young or in the best of health, so it’s difficult for them to go for institutional dialysis and then back home,” said Leiba.
“With this program, the patient receives treatment in his free time and at home, in a familiar and pleasant environment. In addition, the patient’s cardiac function will improve and he will need fewer medications. The fact that this all-important service is provided first of all at Assuta- Ashdod, especially for patients from the southern Israeli periphery, is a very welcome thing, and I believe that the other hospitals in Israel will join us soon.”
Tatiana Shripov, the nurse in charge at the Nephrology Institute, added that “it is a very user-friendly machine, the patient and their family members undergo training with us by the professional staff, and at the end of it the patient can perform four treatments a week at home; and in fact, with the exception of coming for a check-up once a month, they no longer need to visit the hospital. It is important to say, at all times, we are available for them and give them telephone support as needed.