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What is Dialysis Care?

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What is Dialysis?

Dialysis is a filtering process that removes toxins and fluids from your blood when your kidneys can no longer do it. The purpose is to keep the right levels of chemicals, fluids, and salts in your bloodstream; control your blood pressure; and remove waste products.

If you lose 85% to 90% of your kidney function, and your health care provider doesn't expect your kidney function to return to normal, you'll need dialysis to keep harmful waste products from building up in your bloodstream. If this waste isn't removed, the results can be deadly. Ideally, a kidney specialist (nephrologist) will prepare you for starting dialysis even before your kidneys get to that point.


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) can be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure, or chronic kidney inflammation. Sometimes people with CKD have it for a long time before they notice symptoms such as fatigue, swollen feet and ankles, itching, nausea, or a poor appetite. Dialysis can help you manage CKD.

Dialysis Treatment Access

For dialysis you will need an access point on your body in order to have the treatments.  This can be done by either creating a fistula or a dialysis line.  A fistula is created by a surgical procedure that creates a connection between your blood vessels. Using this method two needles will be placed in your arm during each treatment.

A catheter can also be used and is done by placing a narrow plastic tube (the catheter) in your neck or chest for the short term or long term. You and your nephrologist will decide which is better for you

What is the process of dialysis?

Dialysis is the process of filtering blood so that toxins and excess fluids are removed from your blood when your kidneys can no longer do this function anymore. During dialysis certain electrolytes and medications maybe added if you are depleted. The purpose is to keep the right levels of chemicals, fluids, and salts in your bloodstream; control your blood pressure; and remove wastes.

What should I expect during my treatments?

Once you have been assessed by your nephrologist and referred to our dialysis centre, you will be attending dialysis two or three times per week.  When you arrive at the centre you will be weighed and have your vital signs taken and have the opportunity to discuss how you are feeling with your nurse.  When you are seated in your chair, you will be connected to the dialysis machine using either your fistula or your dialysis line.  Once you are connected to the dialysis machine, your technician will start the dialysis treatment. The machine will move your blood through the dialyzer or artificial kidney to be cleaned and then returned to your body. This process generally lasts four hours and you are encouraged to stay for the entire treatment time to get the best benefit from your dialysis sessions.

Who will help me with my treatments?

Your treatments will be monitored by our nursing team through your entire session.  Your vital signs will be taken routinely and staff will round on you often to monitor you as well as the status of your machine.  During this time you can rest, watch TV, or just relax.  For your treatments, you are may bring your own blanket, book, phone with volume off, etc.  Any symptoms you may experience our staff will respond to quickly to ensure that you feel well throughout.  Once your dialysis is complete you will be removed from the machine, allowing time for your fistula to achieve stasis and you will be released to leave the facility feeling well with normal vital signs.

Complete well-rounded care

At Bridges Dialysis Centre, we pride ourselves on providing well-rounded and competent dialysis care in collaboration with your primary physician and most of all, with you--the client.  We will see you often so we will have the opportunity to liaise with you and monitor your status regularly.  We will be monitoring you and your dialysis efficacy by doing blood work quarter annually-this will ensure that we are providing you with the best dialysis parameters for you.  We will have regular chart reviews and provide your physician with a quarterly review, so to be kept abreast of your status while receiving dialysis care.  Allied health care like nutritional counselling, cardiac monitoring via scheduled EKG's, and general well-being counselling services will be available on site to round out your care and to help you to stay and feel well over the longer term.

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