Portable Dialysis Gives Grandma At-Home Care
A new lease on life
By Christine McConville / The Pulse
Aurelie Blanchard feels like a teenager, at 70.
After years of dragging herself to a dialysis center twice a week to keep her failing kidneys functioning, this Methuen grandmother of 10 now gets to stay healthy – while staying home.
Thanks to “Clyde,” a portable dialysis machine made by NxStage Medical in Lawrence, Blanchard has reduced her health-care costs, improved her health and boosted her morale.
“I have my social life back,” she said last week.
Blanchard, who suffers from a rare autoimmune disease, is among the 500,000 Americans with kidney failure. To stay alive, she must remove waste products and water from her blood, via a complicated and costly medical procedure known as hemodialysis.
It’s a twice-a-week procedure that some Americans with kidney failure already rely on.
The number is expected to double in coming years as the nation faces the long-term complications of diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
That means our national health-care costs will soar, because Medicaid covers the enormous costs of hemodialysis.