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Dialysis at Owensboro Health

There are two basic types of dialysis performed at Owensboro Health.

Hemodialysis

Hemodialysis removes blood from the body and sends it across a special filter with solutions. The filter helps remove harmful substances. The blood is then returned to the body.

Hemodialysis is most often done in a special dialysis center. Patients usually have three treatments a week, about 3 - 4 hours each time. A dialysis nurse can train patients to do home dialysis.

Learn more about hemodialysis at our Health Encyclopedia.

Peritoneal Dialysis

This procedure is performed in the patient room by specially trained nurses, usually four times a day. Nurses use a catheter placed in the stomach to drain fluid and filter impurities.

Treatment at Owensboro Health

Our Nephrology Unit

Kidney disease is usually treated on the Ortho-Medical unit on the fifth floor of the hospital. Our nephrology nurses are specially trained to handle shunts and to look after dialysis patients. They are also knowledgeable about the conditions that often accompany kidney disease, such as diabetes.

Getting Started

For hemodialysis, your healthcare team will need a way to get to the blood in your blood vessels. This is called access. First-time and new-diagnosis patients will be hospitalized as we place a temporary access (a catheter inside a large vein) into your chest, neck or leg. Your physician can discuss whether you will need a long-term (permanent) access.

Once your access is set, inpatient dialysis treatments will begin. Typically, new patients will receive three dialysis treatments in a row in the hospital. Treatments are provided by DaVita Inc., a leading provider of kidney care in the United States.

Outpatient Treatment

After these initial treatments, most patients will receive dialysis on an outpatient basis. An Owensboro Health case manager will help coordinate the patient's outpatient treatment with an area dialysis clinic.

Important Information About Dialysis

  • Many patients with chronic or acute kidney failure also suffer from other chronic diseases such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, and wounds from poor vascular diseases.
  • Patients should not skip treatments. Missed treatments put the patient at risk for excess fluid, which will have to be drained.
  • When kidneys do not function properly, the body's electrolytes tend to be out of balance, and potassium levels may get too high. Patients will be placed on very strict diets with limited sodium and potassium.

Learn more about hemodialysis at our Health Encyclopedia.