I have a hemodialysis machine at home. Every night I use this machine to get dialysis - daily nocturnal home hemodialysis, the gold standard for hemodialysis today. This is which allows me to have a normal life - well, almost!
The blood pump is a very important part of the dialysis machine. It is this pump that basically draws blood out of the arterial line and pumps it to the artificial kidney and then returns it to the body through the venous line. For the past few weeks, this pump has been making some noise, similar to that you would hear when it is rusted or not well-oiled. I called the Fresenius folks and they came and took a look. They tried greasing it but the noise did not reduce. They eventually concluded that it needed to be changed. The pump costs around forty thousand rupees.
The machine is almost four and half years old. The life of these machines is close to ten years. So, I guess it is time for some parts to wear out or need to be replaced. The important thing to consider is how often this kind of a thing will happen and how much it would cost.
If, for example, this is going to become a regular feature, would it be wise to sell this machine off and buy a new one? If I am anyway going to have to spend about five to six lakhs on a new machine, would it make more sense to go in for a NxStage machine which would cost about twice as much? Though the cost of the disposables is going to be much higher with the
NxStage, would it be worth getting it for the flexibility of traveling it offers me?
These are decisions I will need to make sooner or later. Not immediately but definitely in the next few months.