Thursday, December 10, 2009

Read Dr. Peter Laird's Interview on Renal Support Network!

I just listened to Dr. Peter Laird's interview on the Renal Support Network ( Dr. Laird is an Internist who is on dialysis because of IgA nephropathy. In his interview with  Renal Support Network founder Lori Hartwell, Dr. Laird makes some very interesting observations. Among the many points he made, here are a few that stood out to me:

  • He is a strong advocate of Home Dialysis.
  • He points out that extended or nocturnal dialysis has shown similar survival statistics to cadaveric renal transplants.
  • Dr. Laird encourages nephrologists to prescribe longer, slower, and more frequent dialysis treatments for their patients.
  • He makes the sad, but true comment that individual providers--from technicians to physicians--vary in their commitment to hygiene, often short-changing the basics of hand-washing!
  • He emphasizes the personal control patients have with Home Dialysis care.
  • He advocates self-insertion of dialysis needles using the buttonhole technique for prevention of fistula aneurysms.
  • His story of selecting dialysis over transplant (personal history of testicular cancer and melanoma) reminds us that transplant is not for everyone--but maximizing the efficacy of dialysis is possible through extended, frequent treatments.
Listening to Dr. Laird's interview was a useful experience. I can't imagine that any physician needing dialysis would voluntarily chose in-Center treatments! For so many reasons, but certainly for the reasons of personal freedom and quality control.

Dr. Laird's interview reminded me of this fundamental concept:

Nobody cares more about the quality of your dialysis than you or your partner!

Take care. Linda Gromko, MD

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