The first holiday with the NxStage in-tow is now over. I took the machine with me to the North Norfolk coast,and set up, and all went very well. Travel logistics worked out ok , getting the machine, supplies and two boys into the car, and once arrived, we were able to quickly unpack. The machine weighs 35Kg, so it helps to have some body to help with the lifting, otherwise, the general movement of the machine is easy as the case is on travel wheels.
Setting up was ok, although there a was a minor issue with the sixth bag of dialysate. The dialysate plate warmer and the pole to hang the bags only accommodate 5 bags, but some patience and experimentation I was able to accommodate the sixth bag and have it connected for use, ready to go.
The travel system works well, one bag is placed on the warmer to ensure dialysate is at body temperature, and the additional bags then feed this warmed bag, so once connected there is no additional ‘fiddling’ to connect bags etc. I did find that the sixth bag I had, if I laid it on a chair beside the machine, clamps open, then filled from the hanging bags (logically) and so became bloated with dialysate, but this is remedied by leaving this bag clamped shut, until the other 4 hanging bags have all but drained, then all I had to do was hang the final bag and open the clamp.
The drain tube is 20 feet long so plenty available to get it to the nearest sink to drain the waste.
The one item to pay special care to though is what you place the machine on when dialysing. The machine plus 5 bags of dialysate in situ, weighs over 60kg, so the table or whatever you use has to be sturdy and stable. In the place I was staying there was a coffee table that served the purpose, and so long as I ensured the whole assembly of machine and bags was balanced centrally, it was safe.
It’s fair to say that when you lay out your supplies ready to go on, your routine layout may not be possible as you will use whatever space you have available, so paying attention to where everything is, and ensuring you have laid everything out in advance and checked this, you will be ok and ensure you get on safely.
This was my first run with the ‘mobile’ set up, and am pleased it worked well, save for the fear of power cuts locally due to the ongoing unseasonal cold, wet and windy weather! Lose the power, lose the circuit! (about 250ml of blood).
My next holiday is for two weeks, and save for the issue of transporting supplies, which I think I have resolved, then I feel very confident about the ability to dialyse ‘on demand’ throughout the holiday.
So, if you have a NxStage, and have not yet tried it on holiday – give it go, if you have a the plate warmer and dialysate supplies, you can get away pretty much when you want to.