KidneyBuzz.com was one of the first news outlets to announce that the Single Needle Treatment Dialysis Option had passed the Food And Drug Administration (FDA) approval process and was available for use. At the time, both Chronic Kidney Disease, including Dialysis, patients and caregivers alike flooded in with an array of comments of both excitement and disbelief:
Kenneth Valentine: Please send me some information about this product I'm a Dialysis patient.
Claudia Davenport: No way! That is impossible. How would you take blood out of the body and put it back with only one needle?
Debi Barnard: Is this the new single needle? That old problem was supposed to be fixed with this new design. More info please!
Greg Palmer: I do not think that it is possible to use only one needle for Dialysis. Please stop posting incorrect information.
Sara Weiss: I am a nurse and I do not think that you can use a single needle for Dialysis. It makes no sense.
Kathleen Vukotic: I want to try this. I hate getting stuck. One needle stick is better than two.
Well, now that the existence and credibility of the Single Needle option has set into the Chronic Kidney Disease Community, and hundreds of patients have tried the Single Needle. The reviews have been as mixed as the comments after its first approval. Some patients have sworn by the Single Needle Technique as an inventive solution to decrease pain and preserve a Dialysis patient's AV Fistula. On the other hand, others have suggested that it is only good for temporary use and offers a poor cleaning.
For clarification, the Single Needle Dialysis Technique begins by inserting only one needle into a patient's Fistula site. The needle is then connected to a Y-shaped tube. The machine uses two pumps (rather than the usual single pump in traditional Two Needle Dialysis) and a holding chamber to effectively clean a patient's blood.
Basically, the machine functions in two cycles. The first line (the arterial) draws blood from the body to a chamber where the second half of the Y-shaped line (venous) pumps the cleaned blood back into the body. This process continues until the end of a Chronic Kidney Disease patient's Dialysis Treatment.
While the Single Needle Technique is considered to be less painful, many Nephrologists and Dialysis Nurses are reluctant to use it for fear of "Under Dialysis” (not receiving adequate Dialysis Clearance/Cleaning). Dr. Guy Rostoker wrote, "tests using the double pump Single Needle system showed…that Dialysis efficiency was at least as good as with conventional Double-Needle Hemodialysis." Still, one patient who tried Single Needle Dialysis wrote, "I used to get Single Needle all the time...You do not clear as much but nurses normally just take blood samples at the end of treatments to double check that your levels are safe."
Hence, there is still a potential for Under Dialysis since during each Dialysis session, the blood is being filtered for only a little more than half the session time, because the arterial line is clamped each time the venous line returns blood, suggested the website BigDandme.com. This may require some Dialysis patients, especially those who are bigger, to either conduct longer sessions or daily sessions. For this reason, some Dialysis patients decide against this treatment option.
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