Kidney dialysis facilities provide treatment to patients with kidney failure. During treatment, dialysis takes over some of the work performed by the kidneys, including the removal of waste, extra water and salts. It keeps a safe level of nutrients in the blood and helps to control blood pressure. Dialysis treatment is usually started when 85-90% of kidney function is lost.
The two types of dialysis performed at dialysis facilities are hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. In hemodialysis, an artificial kidney filters blood. Surgery is used to create an entrance to blood vessels in the arm, leg or neck. During peritoneal dialysis treatments, a catheter is placed in the abdomen and is filled with a treatment fluid called dialysate.
Dialysis is done in outpatient facilities, hospitals, or at home. It must be performed at least three times a week and each treatment lasts for several hours. If you need kidney dialysis services, it's crucial that you:
1. Find a kidney dialysis services facility near your home or workplace that is clean, safe and comfortable.
2. Set up appointments at out-of-area dialysis facilities when you travel.
3. Locate a doctor or hospital that will help you find a dialysis facility that meets your needs.
Consult with a health care provider to help find the right dialysis facilityIf you or a family member has symptoms of renal disease, a doctor or urologist is the first step in recommending a facility and treatment plan.
MedlinePlus, a resource provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Use an online dialysis finderOverviews of facility information and comparisons can be found on public and private websites. When searching for a facility, you should also talk to your doctor about facilities in your area, visit facilities and talk to patients and staff.
Medicare's Dialysis Facility Compare is the top source for information on kidney dialysis locations. It provides contact information and compares quality of care information for private and non-profit dialysis facilities. Nephrologywork.com from Practice Sight Inc. offers links to U.S. and global facilities.
Browse a national provider's dialysis center directorySeveral large, private organizations provide dialysis treatment at locations throughout the United States.
DaVita Inc. is a nationwide service with more than 1,000 hospital and outpatient facilities. Fresenius Medical Care North America is a subsidiary of Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA. It operates more than 1,500 outpatient dialysis clinics and also provides home dialysis equipment. Both sites provide a search feature by zip code or city to find a location near you.
Resolve problems with a dialysis businessIf you have a problem with your facility, contact your state's survey agency or an End-Stage Renal Disease Network. They inspect and provide guidelines for patient rights and safety and work with patients and facilities to resolve complaints.
Medicare provides links to State Survey Agencies and End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Networks.
- Talk to other patients, support groups, and national foundations so you know what to expect from kidney dialysis services.