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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Kidney failure is a tough diagnosis. Those with high blood pressure and diabetes are at high risk. Thankfully, peritoneal dialysis has gotten easier.

“Peritoneal dialysis is a very gentle dialysis,” said Jennifer Durke, RN. “It helps patients to have less highs and lows than hemodialysis.”

Peritoneal dialysis goes through the abdomen. A device called a liberty cycler does the filtering.

“It doesn’t help your kidneys by any means. But it helps your body to stay as healthy as possible when your kidneys don’t work,” said Durke.

It’s fairly easy. The patient does have to learn how it all works, since the goal is to have the patient do it at home or at a rehabilitation center, like spring mill meadows.

“It goes through a tube in their stomach. It’s implanted by a surgeon. Then we use that tube to put fluid inside their belly that removes toxins and waste products from their system and any extra electrolytes from their system. We drain that out in a drain bag and then we throw it away,” said Durke.

Patients at any of the American Senior Community facilities can get peritoneal dialysis. In fact, it can dovetail into their other needs.

“While they’re here they would also be able to receive therapy services, emotional support, socialization, mental health needs and nutrition,” said Lindsay Arthur with American Senior Communities.

Fresenius nurses are in charge, though. They teach the patient the connections, nutrition and most importantly how to prevent infection.

“Hand washing is the most important thing we teach them how to do. There’s a lot more to hand washing than they are normally trained to do,” said Durke.

If all goes well, the dialysis happens at night and the patient sleeps right through most of the process.

For more on peritoneal dialysis, click here.