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Dialysis Staff Time and Supply Cost for the LifeSite System vs. Hemodialysis Catheters

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The LifeSite System is a new subcutaneous vascular access option for hemodialysis patients. As the procedure for accessing the LifeSite differs from hemodialysis catheters, we prospectively studied the differences in time required to initiate and discontinue treatments for LifeSite patients compared to patients with hemodialysis catheters. We also collected data on the cost of supplies and the number of alarms during dialysis for both groups. 5 LifeSite and 5 catheter patients were chosen at random for participation in the study. The time required for the ON and OFF procedures was recorded for 3 consecutive dialysis sessions for each patient for a total of 15 observations/group. The average staff time required per session for supply preparation, ON/OFF procedure, dressing changes, and responding to alarms was 15.9 min for the LifeSite and 16.9 min for catheters. Catheter patients experienced 4.5 access-related alarms per session compared to 2.5 access-related alarms per session for LifeSite patients. This increase in the number alarms for catheter patients resulted in an increase in average staff time required to resolve the cause of these alarms vs. LifeSite patients (3.4 vs. 0.87 min/session). There was a minimal difference in the cost of access-related supplies between LifeSite and catheter patients at our center ($3.71 vs. $3.88 per session, respectively) based on dialysis center acquisition costs. This study demonstrates that attaining a critical mass of LifeSite patients in a dialysis unit enables the dialysis staff to develop the skill to initiate and discontinue treatments for patients with the LifeSite in a timeframe similar to that required to do the same for catheter patients. The overall cost of supplies to care for LifeSite patients in a dialysis unit is also similar to those used for catheter patients.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: West Palm Dialysis – Preferred Medical Group, West Palm Beach, FL, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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