Home kidney dialysis: giving people back their independence

Home kidney dialysis: giving people back their independence

Published Wednesday 9 March 2022

Kidney home dialysis patient with her training team

Cassie Comfort with her training support team Crystal Trundle and Richard King (Clinical Nurses) and Keri Equinox (Clinical Nurse Consultant, Home Haemodialysis).

Mum of three, Cassie Comfort, was diagnosed with kidney failure late last year, but will be able to manage her dialysis from the comfort of her home in Mareeba.

The switch to home dialysis will be life changing for Cassie who will be able to home-school her three boys (all aged under 11 years) and will be able to do dialysis when it suits her. She’ll no longer need to drive to the Cairns or Atherton unit for a morning or evening session.

'My husband has set up a comfy lounge and TV for my dialysis. I’m planning to spend the days home schooling the kids and then do dialysis when my husband gets home from work,' said Cassie.

'I’ve trained and can do it myself, and as soon as the plumbing is finished and when the machine arrives, I’ll be ready!'

Haemodialysis (kidney dialysis) involves using a machine to remove excess fluids and waste products when your kidneys are no longer able to keep you well. It can take 15 to 25 hours a week.

Cassie’s machine has been named 'Tarago' which Cassie jokes is a family wagon - which suits her well!

'I couldn’t have done it without the brilliant team of Crystal, Richard and Keri at Cairns Hospital. They’ve trained me to do home dialysis and built my confidence to do dialysis on my terms,' said Cassie.

The Home Dialysis Training team is led by Keri Equinox who loves giving people back their independence.

With 20 years as Clinical Nurse Consultant Keri has supported people from all walks of life to do kidney dialysis at home.

Keri said it can be a steep learning curve for clients, but they are motivated by being able to choose the days and times to get treatment. 'They are so much more independent and comfortable in their own homes,' said Keri.

'It’s amazing to see how people can return to having an almost normal life,' said Keri.

Last year the team trained seven people across Cairns, the Cape and Torres to do home dialysis and they did 41 home visits to clients.

'We currently have 30 clients doing home dialysis,' said Keri. 'We have four clients in the remote Aboriginal community of Kowanyama in western Cape York, two in Cooktown, two in Bamaga, one in Aurukun and the rest are in the Cairns and Hinterland region'.

Call  07 4226 8547 to speak with Keri and her team.

Last updated: March 2022