How Homeward Bound improves the patient experience
Hemodialysis machines look complicated, but Flynn Ramirez has no trouble hooking one up. He’s not a nurse or a doctor, however – he’s a patient, dialyzing in the comfort of his bedroom, thanks to a program dubbed “Homeward Bound” at St. Joseph’s Health Centre.
His comfortable routine is a far cry from the overwhelming diagnosis Ramirez first received from his doctor: high blood pressure that had affected his kidneys, leaving both at a 13% functioning level.
“When renal failure occurs, it means (the kidneys) aren’t performing properly – and so you end up with waste products building up in your blood,” explains Jacqui Cooper, patient care manager for the Renal Therapy program at St. Joe’s.
In life-saving but time-consuming hemodialysis, the patient’s blood is pumped through a machine, where it passes through a membrane and is then returned, in a clean state, back into their body.
“Being on a home therapy allows (patients) to go back to work and normalizes their life again,” says Cooper.
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