Home-based dialysis treatments are on the rise in both the developing and developed worlds, but developed countries appear to be turning to them less often, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). The findings, which provide a global snapshot of dialysis use among patients with kidney failure, may impact future business and research innovations. Dialysis treatments for kidney failure come in two forms: peritoneal dialysis is usually done at home, while hemodialysis is predominantly clinic-based. During peritoneal dialysis, fluids that are pumped into the abdominal cavity collect wastes pulled in from the blood and are then removed from the body. During hemodialysis, blood is removed, purified by a machine, and returned to the body.
According to a study conducted by the University of Warwick and the University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE), a new electronic medication management system developed in the UK for nursing and residential homes, has been demonstrated to considerably lower the number of drug administration errors. In the study, the researchers recorded all medication administrations day and night for 345 older residents in 13 (9 residential and 4 nursing) homes rated as good or higher by national regulator inspection in the South, West, Midlands, and North West of England. They discovered that 90% of residents were exposed to at least one medication administration error over a three month period. Of the 90%, more than half were exposed to more serious errors, such as receiving the wrong medication.
Heart failure affects 5.8 million people in the U.S. alone and is responsible for nearly 1 million hospitalizations each year, most resulting from a build-up of body fluid in the lungs and other organs due to the heart's inability to pump effectively. The disease needs to be closely tracked in order to avoid such hospitalizations, and home-monitoring interventions may be especially useful, UCLA researchers say. In their new paper, the UCLA authors discuss the importance of heart failure disease-management and early identification, as well as the treatment of body-fluid congestion, using a number of home-monitoring strategies, including self-care, such as daily weighing and medication management; phone calls from a nurse or automated response system; home health visits; and telemedicine and remote monitoring with implantable and external devices to track vital information.
With an estimated 65 million caregivers in the U.S., many Americans have at least one on their holiday gift list. Family members and friends can choose gifts that will make caregiving easier and provide a much-needed respite from the often overwhelming demands of caregiving, according to Michael Noe, MD, associate dean for community relations and clinical affairs in the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions. "The caregiver role is probably one of the most stressful roles that an individual can be involved in, particularly when it involves caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease or other causes of dementia, " says Noe. "Anything that a friend or family member can do to acknowledge that stress and help the caregiver deal with it, essentially caring for the caregiver, will make an enormous difference.
CareConscious, a North Carolina-based start-up company, has completed a license agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Research Foundation to bring care management tools to family caregivers across the country through a highly customizable Internet program. CareConscious will integrate the TCARE system developed at UWM with the CareConscious Web-based platform for family caregivers that educates, supports and encourages healthy family caregiving and proactive senior care planning though all stages of life. TCARE (Tailored Caregiver Assessment and Referral) was created by Rhonda Montgomery, Helen Bader Endowed Chair in Applied Gerontology in UWM's Helen Bader School of Social Welfare. TCARE is a care management process designed to guide care managers in assessing the needs and strengths of family members who serve as caregivers and effectively link them with resources.