National Kidney Federation supports home dialysis for lower Covid-19 risk

National Kidney Federation (NKF) has announced they are campaigning to increase the use of home dialysis in the UK. This is following the revelation that patients dialysing in centres are disproportionately impacted by Covid-19, compared to patients receiving dialysis at home. 

During the NKF’s recent webinar, Home Dialysis in the Context of Covid-19, research from the UK Renal Registry highlighted that patients who receive dialysis in hospital face a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus, compared to home dialysis patients. The research also revealed Covid-related deaths were higher for those dialysing in hospital.

With only a small percentage of those on dialysis dialysing in their homes, the NKF are demanding change and are campaigning for an increase in home dialysis to protect patients. Chief Executive of the National Kidney Federation, Andrea Brown, explained that “home dialysis allows the patient to have a degree of freedom and the statistics show that in the current climate, dialysing at home is much safer than dialysing in a hospital.”

However, keeping patients and carers safe is not the only reason to choose to dialyse at home. John Roberts, a recipient of home dialysis, can testify to the many benefits. He described how home dialysis freed him from a hospital routine and allowed him to continue his busy social life. The flexibility of home dialysis also enabled him to take his own machine on holiday, meaning he could spend more time with his friends and family.

Brian Child, Vice-Chairman of the NKF, cared for his wife when she was dialysing at home. He said “patients whose carers carry out the dialysis procedure for them are placing an enormous degree of trust in their carer. This can produce a very strong emotional bond between them which can be incredibly rewarding.”

You can read the full press release on Fresenius Medical Care’s website [link once live]. The NKF will be producing a report on the webinar, as well as recommendations which will be published January 2021.