Dialysis (Nephrology)

Horizon’s Home Hemodialysis Program is available for patients who are able to perform dialysis treatment in the comfort of their home. Some people do this on their own, and others have help from a family member or another caregiver. Dialysis at home is recommended for anyone who can do their dialysis safely.

What is dialysis?

Hemodialysis, or dialysis, is the most common method used to treat advanced and permanent kidney failure.

Healthy kidneys clean your blood by removing excess fluid, minerals, and wastes. They also make hormones that keep your bones strong and your blood healthy.

When your kidneys fail, harmful wastes build up in your body, your blood pressure may rise, and your body may retain excess fluid and not make enough red blood cells. When this happens, you need treatment to replace the work of your failed kidneys.

Kidney failure (or renal disease/failure) can happen for a lot of reasons. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, family history or autoimmune disorders are more at risk.

How is this service performed?

Horizon’s Nephrology services (kidney care) promote early detection of kidney failure, and support patients in their education and treatment of their kidneys’ condition.

When a patient is diagnosed with a kidney disease or failure, Horizon specialists and staff members offer education and monitoring of diet and kidney functions so patients can manage their symptoms between medical appointments. We realize that each person’s experience with chronic kidney disease is different, and that is why we offer a number of programs and services for people with kidney disease. Our specialized teams also support patients during their transition into hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis or transplant.

For adult patients:

The treatments and related services are used to treat adult clients living with chronic kidney failure who require dialysis treatments on a regular basis. Patients who suffer from chronic kidney failure are referred to the Nephrology Program at Horizon’s Saint John Regional Hospital for initial care planning.

If it is determined that you will need dialysis treatments on an ongoing basis, you will be assessed for the best form of dialysis treatment – peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis. You may also be considered for kidney transplant through our Transplant Program.

  • Peritoneal dialysis uses the patient’s peritoneum in the abdomen as a membrane across which fluids and dissolved substances are exchanged from the blood. Fluid is introduced through a permanent tube in the abdomen and flushed out either every night while you sleep (automatic peritoneal dialysis) or via regular exchanges throughout the day (continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis). This type of dialysis is done at home.
  • Hemodialysis uses a special machine (dialysis machine) to filter the waste products from blood and restore it to a normal form. Most patients go to a clinic – a dialysis centre – three times a week for 3 to 5 hours each visit. For example, you may be on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule or a Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday schedule. You may be asked to choose a morning or afternoon shift, depending on availability and capacity at the dialysis unit. Hemodialysis can also be done in the home through the support of our Home Hemodialysis Program.

Nephrology care is provided by nephrologists in Saint John while patients receive their treatments either in their homes or in the hemodialysis units. Nephrologists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the kidney and urinary system, such as inflammation of the kidneys, chronic kidney disease, or cancer.

For pediatric patients:

Children with chronic kidney failure are normally referred to the IWK Health Centre in Halifax for initial treatment planning, following which they are most often placed on a home dialysis program, supported by their local hospital’s nephrology team.

How do I access this service?

If you are concerned about your kidney functions and have noticed changes in how much you urinate as an example, please talk with your family physician or primary health care provider. You may then be referred to a Horizon nephrologist for testing.

How do I prepare for this service?

Individuals should wear comfortable, non-restrictive clothes when they present to a hospital for testing or dialysis.

More Nephrology Services

Horizon locations offering this service:

Facility Name Address Phone
Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital (Fredericton) 700 Priestman St. , PO Box 9000, Fredericton, New Brunswick, E3B 3B7 506-452-5400

Facility Name Address Phone
Saint John Regional Hospital 400 University Ave., Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L 4L2 506-648-6000
Charlotte County Hospital (St. Stephen) 4 Garden St., St. Stephen, New Brunswick, E3L 2L9 506-465-4444
Sussex Health Centre 75 Leonard Dr., Sussex, New Brunswick, E4E 2P7 506-432-3100

Facility Name Address Phone
Upper River Valley Hospital (Waterville) 11300 Route 130, Waterville, New Brunswick, E7P 0A4 506-375-5900