It doesn't take much to get me to take a trip to San Diego so when the opportunity came up to attend this year's Home Dialysis University conference I booked my flight. Having lived in San Diego for many years prior to moving to the Bay Area I took the opportunity to both check out this great conference and stay and visit with old friends.
The conference (formerly known as Peritoneal Dialysis University) now has significant content going over home hemodialysis therapies with much of this being delivered by Brent Miller who was one of the FHN daily investigators and part of the ongoing FREEDOM study.
The conference registration and up to $350 in hotel and travel are covered for fellows by a grant from the International Society of Peritoneal Dialysis . The conference and accommodations were at the Westgate Hotel in the Gaslamp district. Great location and high marks for tasty breakfast, lunch and frequent snacks (all at no additional cost!)
Conference size was small, under 20 people so lots of opportunity to interact with the faculty and other attendees. Also a short conference, one full day and two half days.
John Burkart from Wake Forest gives a great lecture on how PD and HD work in terms of small and other solute clearance and reviews the uses and limitations of Kt/V. He also gives a very practical lecture on the financial considerations related to home dialysis. Anjali Saxena (one of my attendings who is the PD director down at the Stanford affiliated Santa Clara Valley Medical Center) covers PD access issues, the challenges that face the long-term PD patient and the infrastructure requirements for starting your own home unit. Joanne Bargman from Toronto does some great case based discussions surrounding commonly encountered PD issues.
One of the highlights is the hands-on demonstration session were home dialysis RNs actually do a walk through with a PD cycler and a NxStage machine. Very informative.
An area where many fellows unfortunately have limited exposure is the nuances of the dialysis prescription writing for the NxStage system. Brent Miller gives a really nice talk going over the details of this. Lots of nice compare and contrast examples to conventional HD to put things in a more familiar context.
At least as of this writing, they haven't announced when the 2013 fellows conferences are going to be held so stay tuned to their website for dates. In past years they've had sessions in several locations on several different dates so hopefully you'll find something that will fit your schedule.
I again tried my best to keep up a solid twitter feed of interesting points for RFN which you can find here with all the tweets indexed under #HomeDialysisU.