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Kidney failure patients should receive balanced advice

28th July 2011

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) says patients with kidney failure should be given balanced advice so that they can make informed decisions about their choice of dialysis treatment.

Kidney failure is treated by dialysis, which filters the waste products and excess fluid from the blood that cannot be filtered by the individual’s own kidneys.

But there are two types of dialysis available - haemodialysis (normally performed in hospital with blood clean by passing it through a machine) and peritoneal dialysis (performed at home where the blood is cleaned inside the body using a special fluid via a tube inserted into a small space in the abdomen.)

With both treatments proving effective, the choice often depends on a person’s lifestyle and individual circumstances.

The new guidance published by NICE is the first in England and Wales to help people with kidney failure make informed decisions about which choice of dialysis treatment to have.

For peritoneal dialysis it recommends that doctors and nurses should offer balanced and accurate information to patients about all dialysis options, so that patients can make informed decisions on how the treatment will impact on their working lives, daily routines and social activity.

Peritoneal dialysis, it says, should be considered as a first choice for: children aged two and under, people whose kidneys still make some urine and adults without other significant illnesses.

Dr Fergus Macbeth, Director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE, said it was very important that people are able to make informed decisions about their choice of treatment.

 

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