Hospital Based Hemodialysis
Patients usually begin hemodialysis in Saskatoon or Regina. Satellite hemodialysis units are located in Lloydminster, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Tisdale, Estevan, Yorkton, Swift Current, Moose Jaw and All Nations' Healing Hospital Fort Qu'Appelle. Once a patient on hemodialysis is deemed medically stable, they can be referred to satellite hemodialysis unit or home hemodialysis.
Plasmapheresis is similar to hemodialysis in that it uses a machine to filter and purify the blood. During a treatment, the machine takes about a cup of blood at a time from the body, spins it to separate the liquid part from the blood cells. That fluid is replaced with another solution and returned to the body. The process is often repeated several times until the blood has been treated.
Plasmapheresis (also known as PLEX, TPE or plasma exchange) treats many autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Guillain-Barre syndrome (a rare condition in which the immune system attacks healthy nerve cells.)
Normally, the antibodies in plasma help fight disease, but in people with autoimmune diseases, the antibodies in their plasma attack healthy cells in the body. Plasmapheresis prevents this by removing the plasma containing antibodies and replacing it with new plasma.
Treatment can occur at the hospital or as an outpatient. Before a treatment, you may need to come to the hospital to have a tube, called a central venous catheter, placed in your chest. When the catheter is no longer needed, it will be removed. If you will be receiving plasmapheresis for a long period of time, you may be referred to a surgeon for a fistula, which is a more permanent way of accessing the blood.
How to prepare for plasmapheresis
- Eat a high protein diet that is also low in sodium, potassium and phosphorous a few days before treatment.
- Get a good night's sleep the night before treatment.
- Eat a nutritious meal and drink plenty of fluids the morning before treatment.
- Make sure your vaccinations are up to date.
- Avoid smoking.
For more information, contact us.