Published on: 26 June 2019

With the summer holidays approaching, South Tyneside and Sunderland kidney patients can find out just how flexible dialysis treatment can be at special campervan roadshows next week. 

The campervans will be touring the area to give information to patients concerned  about how summer holidays could have an impact on their life-saving treatment, including the option to dialyse from home or even on their hotel balcony.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust’s Department of Renal Medicine has invited transplant patients, and current and pre-diaylsis patients, as well as their families and carers, to gain first-hand knowledge about how dialysis can easily be carried out in a small, non-clinical space. They will be able to see ‘expert’ patients, who are accustomed to managing the vital treatment themselves, dialysing in the campervan. The renal nursing and medical team will also be there to answer questions and talk about options and home dialysis care.

Dialysis is a procedure to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly. There are two main types:

  • Haemodialysis, where a tube is attached to a line or needle in the arm and blood is filtered then passed back into the body 
  • Peritoneal dialysis which uses the inside lining of the abdomen as a filter. A catheter in the stomach gently pumps dialysate fluid into the cavity between, toxins are drawn out from the blood vessels in the lining and the used dialysate fluid is disposed of

Dialysis Manager Laura Thompson said: “We want to reassure patients that their life doesn’t have to be put on hold due to dialysis and that there is flexibility to dialyse at home, or even abroad on your hotel balcony. For those on haemodialysis, the machine they need comes in a case with wheels which can be fairly easily transported. It is also relatively simple to arrange with the suppliers for delivery of the disposable equipment needed for dialysis to virtually anywhere in the UK and also many other countries.

“Through the campervan roadshows we hope to raise awareness of the dialysis options available and the flexibility of treatment at home and during travel.”

Kidney Care UK, the North East Kidney Patients Association and medical suppliers NxSTAGE and Baxter are supporting the home dialysis campervan roadshows which will be held as follows: Tuesday July 2nd, Dialysis Unit, Washington Primary Care Centre; Wednesday July 3rd, Renal Dialysis Unit, Sunderland Royal Hospital, and Thursday July 4th, Dialysis Unit, Durham Treatment Centre.