Baxter extends HomeChoice tele-dialysis system to children

London 20 May 2002Baxter Healthcare has launched its HomeChoice Paediatric automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) system in the United Kingdom which means that babies and young children with renal failure will now be able to have their dialysis at home whilst they sleep. Baxter's automated peritoneal dialysis machine is a lightweight, compact device which cleanses the blood overnight while the patient sleeps. More than 700.000 people worldwide currently use dialysis to cleanse their blood of waste, toxins and excess water, a role normally performed by healthy kidneys.

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The HomeChoice Paediatric system is small, discreet with built-in safety alarms and easy-to-use controls to set and monitor dialysis therapy. In addition, the treatment is performed overnight while the infant sleeps so interruptions to the daytime routine are minimised. For instance, the therapy does not interfere with a child's school or day care schedule, and it eliminates the need to travel to hospital for in-centre treatments. A key benefit of the machine is the fact that it is portable which means it can be taken away on trips and holidays.

Baxter supplies treatment to over 5500 kidney patients in their homes in the United Kingdom each year and adults have used the HomeChoice system for many years. New technological developments however now feature capabilities to meet the special needs of infants as the APD system can deliver the lower volumes of fluid required with complete accuracy.

In addition, the HomeChoice Paediatric system integrates a new software package called PD Link 3.0, which enables clinicians to remotely monitor the home-based dialysis therapy. The software is used in conjunction with an electronic data card, known as the PRO Card, which is inserted into the machine at the start of the treatment and captures therapy information during the dialysis session.

The parent or carer can then share the data with the clinician by either taking the PRO card to the hospital or directly transmitting the date through a modem. Software features help to monitor patient compliance as they allow clinicians to remotely collect and analyse the data, and make any necessary prescription adjustments.

Dr. Alan Watson, Children's Kidney Specialist at Nottingham City Hospital, who was involved with the evaluation of the new system explained: "The HomeChoice Paediatric system is clinically effective and easy for parents to use. Already two of my patients are on the system." With the shortage of kidneys for transplantation, the treatment of those with kidney failure is crucial, and Baxter plays a key role in this, with the provision of services for both Peritoneal Dialysis and Haemodialysis in the United Kingdom.

Supporting patients in the community, Baxter provides a complete homecare service for kidney patients on Peritoneal Dialysis (PD), which includes preparing education materials and training staff and patients; providing on-going support; and delivering and monitoring regular supplies direct to their home, through Unicare. Unicare is Baxter Healthcare's renal supply chain operation. The home-based therapy, with flexible scheduling of solution exchanges, makes it easier for patients to work and lead a more normal home life.

Baxter's Renal Therapy Services (RTS) have worked with National Health Service (NHS) Trusts and purchasers to develop renal units in areas of under-provision where patients may previously have had to travel long distances for treatment. There are currently seven RTS centres in the United Kingdom: Bangor, Bristol, Ipswich, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, and Kidderminster with more planned for the future. These centres operate under contract to NHS Trusts.


Leslie Versweyveld

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