Wednesday, 13 July 2011 16:11

NxStage – Making a batch

Written by  Steve Bone
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This post is not quite what it seems from the title, Making a batch of dialysate is a simple enough process.

The Opta filter that is placed on the inbound water supply and attached to the back of the PureFlow cabinet, generally requires a pump and pressure cylinder to ensure that sufficient water pressure is available to drive the water through the filters and then into the PureFlow to enable the batch to be made. Sensible and logical process. However the noise generated by this Opta kit is virtually unbearable especially when you are working in the room the NxStage is in. The bulk of the noise comes from pressure gauges that oscillate wildly when the pump is running to build the pressure. Once operating pressure is reached, the pump cuts out and the gauge oscillation stops, and peace is restored. However, given  that the pump cuts in about every 60 seconds or so, then the outcome with noise/disturbance is not really acceptable.

On discussion with the Kimal guys they suggested that if the main pressure was sufficient, I may be able to turn off the pump – tried that, pressure dropped to 40psi, but this is more than enough to drive the PureFLow, so I am in business, but a lot quieter.

My thoughts on this are – should not the mains pressure be checked on installation to see if there is sufficient to drive the system, so saving on a pump installation etc, and surely there must be a quieter method of checking pressure than these wild gauges? If I had to rely on the pump, I would have a serious problem with the installtion as it makes working alongside the machine extremely difficult and annoying. This should be designed better to suit a domestic installation.

Anyway, it’s all academic now as the PureFlow control unit has died on me this evening – no light, nothing. I need to make a batch this evening to dialyse tomorrow morning – I can’t dialyse later in the evening as I have my young boys after school, and I can’t be dialysing while they are here as they are under age to be unsupervised, and in the event something happened to one of them while I am on dialysis, then I am unable to react quickly as I would need to come off first.

I accept that machines can fail, but the various issues I am now facing with this machine are affecting my day to day life, and now time with my family. I’ll persevere as I want the potential benefits, but my fuse is shortening.

So all doom and gloom it seems, BUT, on the point of service and fixing problems, Kimal are getting a new control unit to me tonight, arriving by TNT about 2:30am, so I can install the new one and get things moving again. So, despite the adversity, the quality of back up service leaves most businesses standing!

On the issue of benefits, I am disappointed with my blood results, but I will keep working at this over the next 2 to 3 weeks when I have my next clinic appointment and I can discuss with the doc whether this is a viable treatment, or whether changes can be made to make it so. Hopefully my results will improve. Only done one lot of six days so far – need some consistency.

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Steve Bone

Steve Bone

Hi, I'm Steve and have been a dialysis patient on some form of self-care or other since 1990. I've dialysed at home, abroad, in hospital, oh and had a transplant for 7 years. I work in the insurance industry for a City based business, but am very fortunate to be able to work from home 4 days a week. I hope, with my experiences, I can help others on dialysis or those facing dialysis in the future! It ain't so bad! Steve

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