patient stories
Jeremy
Peritoneal dialysis at
home using Amia
see his story

Dale
A Canada-wide cycling
trip with dialysis
see his story

Jaya
Coping with CKD
thanks to home dialysis
see her story

What is hemodialysis?
The word “hemo” refers to blood. Hemodialysis (HD) filters your blood outside your body using a machine and a manufactured filter, called a dialyzer.
SUMMARY:
How hemodialysis works

This dialyzer acts as an artificial kidney. The machine makes the dialysis solution, which is needed to remove excess water and waste from your blood.

During hemodialysis, your blood is removed from your body by the machine through a needle or a central venous catheter, and then is pumped through the dialyzer to clean your blood. After this, the clean blood is returned to your body through a second needle or a second branch of catheter.

Hemodialysis at the hospital

Hemodialysis is usually performed during a scheduled time at the hospital or in a dialysis clinic and is referred to as in-centre hemodialysis (ICHD). Most people require hemodialysis 3 times a week, with each treatment session lasting about 4 hours, depending on the dialysis prescription recommended by the doctor.

Hemodialysis at home

Instead of spending your time in a clinic during treatments, you may be able to do home dialysis—a process called HHD, home hemodialysis. That means you don’t have to schedule your day around travelling to a clinic or hospital for dialysis treatment. You may not need to dialyze during business hours, so you may be able to maintain work schedules. Home hemodialysis is performed by yourself or with the support of your family member or caregiver. Your healthcare team will train you and your family member on the steps of the dialysis until you are comfortable following them for your home dialysis.

Please click here if you would like to read more detailed information about different types of dialysis and different ways of doing dialysis.

Each person is different

It’s important to note that each person is different, so not every type of dialysis is suitable for you. There are different ways of doing peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis.

Different types of dialysis may have different risks; please speak with your doctors about which therapy may be right for you.