LIMA — Keihl Larue was put on dialysis eight years ago after the kidney he received as a teenager failed because of his high blood pressure. Though Larue said the dialysis has saved his life, the three-hour treatments he received in the daytime started taking a toll on his heart and his ability to maintain a job.
On Sept. 27, Larue became one of seven people who have signed up for Lima Memorial Health System’s new “Dialysis after Dark” program, an in-center hemodialysis procedure physicians say can lead to better overall health and quality of life.
Dialysis after Dark, or nocturnal dialysis, allows patients to dialyze for longer periods of time and while sleeping. The longer dialysis, physicians say, allows more time to clear as much waste as possible from the blood.
“There is more waste removal from the blood, so patients’ blood is cleaner and they feel better,” said Dr. Masim Mastouri, co-medical director of Lima Memorial’s Nephrology Unit. “They have less cramps and better control over their blood pressure.”
Aside from the health benefits, Mastouri said patients’ lifestyles may also improve.
“Patients have better control and can choose a better lifestyle as a result of this nocturnal programming, so I think that’s very important,” she said.
Larue said he is already feeling the positive effects of nocturnal dialysis after just one week of treatment.
“I’m not as drained as I was when I was on the three-hour runs,” Larue said. “After those runs, all I wanted to do is sleep. Now, I’m not as tired and I have the rest of my day to do whatever I want.”
Larue said nocturnal dialysis will allow him to go back to work and school. Because of his health problems, Larue has not held a job since he began dialysis in 2007. He said he wants to work at Crankers Cycling in Lima, and eventually plans to take automotive business classes at Northwestern University.
“I love motorcycles, so I want to take some classes so that I can become a motorcycle mechanic,” he said.
Patients who choose nocturnal dialysis arrive at Lima Memorial around 9 p.m. and stay until about 5 a.m. The eight-hour sessions are conducted three times a week, much like daytime dialysis.
Lima Memorial will continue to offer dialysis during daytime hours, but physicians hope more and more people will choose nocturnal dialysis because of its health and lifestyle benefits.
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @bush_lima.