Category: Modality Options

April is National Donate Life Month

Celebrated in April each year, National Donate Life Month (NDLM) features an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.
Here are some important facts about donation from the 2021 Donation and Transplantation Statistics from the Donate Life America Donor Designation Report and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN):
  • More than 39,000 transplants brought renewed life to patients, families, and communities.
  • 7,000 people die each year because the organs they need are not donated in time.
  • 85% of patients on the waiting list are waiting for a kidney. The average waiting time is 3 to 5 years.
  • More than 165 million people are registered organ, eye and tissue donors.

95% of Americans support donation, but only 60% are registered — help bridge the gap! By registering to be an organ, eye and tissue donor in the National Donate Life Registry, you are helping to save lives and give hope to the more than 100,000 people in the United States currently waiting for lifesaving organ transplants. Any adult age 18 or older can register – regardless of age or medical history.

Advancing American Kidney Health (AAKH): 2020 Progress Report

On August 17, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a progress report and related press release on the Advancing American Kidney Health (AAKH) Initiative that was first announced in July 2019. The report highlights the public awareness activities launched by HHS relating to chronic kidney disease (CKD) and the voluntary kidney payment models for managing persons with late stage CKD and ESRD. With regard to the mandatory ESRD Treatment Choices (ETC) model, the progress report simply notes that the proposed rule was released in July 2019.

Modality Education Once a Year is Not Enough

Modality options are often presented to patients in the hospital after they have had a central venous catheter placed and are in the acute dialysis setting or upon admission to a new in-center dialysis facility. Understandably, it is very difficult for patients to process all the information that they are receiving at this time, all while being very ill.

If modality education is addressed on admission and not addressed again until the 30 day care plan, it is likely that the patient has already forgotten most of what was presented to them.  Modality education is often presented to a patient only three to four times during their first year on treatment. It is easy to understand why patients choose to stay on in-center hemodialysis therapy, which they are exposed to three times a week for four hours a day, rather than switch to a therapy they know very little about and to which they have had no exposure.

Modality education needs to be an ongoing conversation with patients. Patients need to know the benefits of all renal replacement therapies to make an educated choice about the right type of renal replacement therapy for them.

The following tools can be utilized to educate patients on modality options: