For the first time in Alberta, patients who need kidney dialysis are getting treatment at home.
A new breakthrough by the Capital Health Authority has patients hooking themselves up to dialysis machines at home. It means that instead of going to hospital three times a week, patients get dialysis every night.
Tests are already showing encouraging results. Dr. Mark Courtney, who developed the program with a provincial grant, says patients are at home, but they're not alone.
"The dialysis connections are reinforced in several ways. There's a variety of alarms used to alert the patient to any problems. The dialysis data is fed via the Internet to a central observer who, if the patient does not respond to an alarm, will awaken the patient as a second line of alert."
Courtney says right now three patients are getting the treatment. He admits it's expensive, but is hoping the treatment becomes available to more people in the future.