When it came to problems with equipment the biggest problem is the size of the dialysis machines. Even the smallest machine, for home use, NxStage, seems rather large and it is remarkable to me that these cumbersome machines haven’t gotten any smaller in size for more than a decade while almost all other hi-tech machinery gets continually smaller as time goes by. Even though NxStage claim to do a lot for their patients I am certain that even the smallest amount of competition could force them to come up with a more patient friendly design. Unfortunately their so-called competitors are busy catering to the doctors in units around the world. And they have no interest in that sort of thing.
Then there is the look of most machines, they look like something out of Frankenstein’s laboratory – hasn’t anybody thought of how unappealing that sort of thing is if you are sitting by it 3-6 hours straight 3-6 times a week? I admit that it will be difficult to hide the unsightly tubes full of blood going from the machine to the person dialyzing. But the actual apparatus could certainly be a lot more sexy, if there was any interest in changing these hideous monsters.
And what about the contraptions called ‘dialysis chairs’? They frankly look like a dentist’s chair from the latter part of the 20’th century, bulky, ugly and completely unnecessarily unappealing. Now I don’t use one of those in my regular ward. I use a good quality reclining chair and a foot stool – the latter being necessary since it is important to have one’s legs up during the process. Once again I have a hard time understanding why nobody has approached the makers to tell them that this sort of contraption just isn’t right. It should be a no-brainer to design a chair that is way, way more interesting that has the same (not really advanced) features.
Once these little hitches are worked out we can move to the smaller things. There are lots of improvements to be done when it comes to the more intimate equipment. But I am not going to go into that at the moment. I have more pressing issues I want up on this blog.