End-Stage Renal Disease for People Under Age 65
What is it?
This is the final stage of chronic kidney disease (CKD). At this point, CKD has reduced overall kidney function to around 10 or 15 percent. This is a critical point for the body and it means the patient will require regular dialysis treatments to make up for the reduced kidney functionality.
Why does ERSD qualify for disability and Medicare Coverage?
The kidneys are essential organs to the body’s health. They regulate fluid levels, manage electrolytes, as well as produce hormones and enzymes that activate vital body functions.
Human beings can usually live comfortably with one healthy kidney, the trouble comes when both kidneys are failing.
One of the kidney’s primary functions is removing waste from the blood and reducing excess fluid through urine production. When kidneys fail or become unhealthy, blood waste and fluid levels rise and can cause conditions like uremia or edema. Patients with CKD may also experience high blood pressure.
Kidney disease is also linked to cardiac arrest, parathyroid dysfunction, and anemia.
What treatments are available for ESRD?
In order to make up for the loss of healthy kidney function, the only treatment is dialysis. This medical treatment uses a machine that operates as an artificial kidney. During dialysis, an artificial artery is linked to the patient’s own artery or vein, typically in the forearm. The blood is then sent to the machine which uses dialysate to clean the blood. Dialysate also restores electrolytes and minerals to normal levels.
Dialysis patients usually visit dialysis centers and may receive treatment multiple times a week depending on their needs. The whole treatment usually takes about four hours, which is part of the reason that people with ESRD can benefit from Medicare coverage especially a Special Needs Plan.
Are there other types of dialysis treatments?
Because this treatment is so involved and crucial to a patient’s life, home hemodialysis machines are available. Other types of dialysis available include nocturnal dialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and continuous renal replacement therapy.
Nocturnal dialysis is simply dialysis performed at night, whereas peritoneal dialysis involves a surgical implant that filters the blood.
For more answers about getting started with health insurance, visit our In the Media page for videos answering some frequently asked questions.
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