Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Caregiver Tip #5: Make "Daily Packs" for Home Dialysis

When doing Home Dialysis - and my direct experience is in the area of Home Hemodialysis - organization is important, not only for smooth dialysis runs, but for your own sanity as well!

There are a number of supplies that you use and discard with every treatment. We find it very helpful to pre-assemble "Daily Packs" containing these items. I use a gallon-sized freezer bag with a zip top to hold the small supplies for a single run: 4x4s, iodine pads, alcohol pads, syringes, bandaids, mask, etc. With a list and proper instruction, other people -- theoretically, even kids -- can help assemble packs in advance. This way, I can simply grab a "Daily Pack," knowing that I have all the small supplies ready to go.

When traveling, I also assemble a "Weekly Pack:" tourniquet, Heparin, paper and plastic tapes in two sizes, and a few extra syringes.

Just like moms pack lunches ahead of time, assembling "Daily Packs" will save you steps and time. It's not rocket science, to be sure, but:

"A step saved is a step towards sanity...most importantly, your own!"

Take care. Linda Gromko, MD