VA Connecticut Healthcare System
Kidney Disease and Dialysis
The VA dialysis unit at the West Haven VA Medical Center serves both inpatient and outpatient Veterans and specializes in the delivery of comprehensive care of Veterans requiring acute and chronic dialysis.
Services offered include:
- Pre-dialysis education
- In-center hemodialysis
- Acute hemodialysis
- Continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT)
- Peritoneal dialysis and training
- Home hemodialysis via the non-VA care program
- Transplant work-up and follow-up
- Vascular services
When your kidneys no longer work the way that they should, following a special diet and having dialysis treatments will help keep extra water and waste from building up in your body. You will be asked to limit foods that are high in sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and liquids. When your dialysis begins, it will be improtant for you to eat more high quality protein foods like lean meat, pork, fish, seafood, egg whites, and poultry to meet your daily protein needs.
The renal dietician is trained to provide nutritional guidance and support to Veterans and their families and caretakers on dialysis. Ask the renal dietician if you have any questions or need help with meal planning, grocery shopping tips, cooking ideas or tips for eating out. Following a special diet for your kidneys can be enjoyable and healthy for you.
To learn more about kidney disease, you can also visit the VA eKidney Clinic: http://www.va.gov/health/services/renal/
Hemodialysis and CRRT
Hemodialysis removes wastes and water from the blood of patients suffering from kidney failure. The dialysis unit has 12 dialysis treatment stations. On average, each dialysis patient requires 3-4 hour treatments, three times a week. The unit operates two shifts, six days a week, allowing 48 Veterans to receive life saving treatment each week. There are more than 35 Veterans receiving dialysis treatments at the West Haven VA Medical Center.
Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) and training is offered at the West Haven VA Medical Center dialysis unit. Home Hemodialysis (HH) and training is offered through the non-VA care program. Both modalities are done in the privacy of your own home. In addition, both therapies allow for more frequent dialysis which is more like your own kidneys. The most important factor in whether you are suited for home dialysis is how much you want to do it. If you have had many or complex abdominal surgeries, you may not be able to do PD. Before you decide, you should know that you do not have to buy a dialysis machine - your clinic will provide you with one and show you how to use it. There is also 24-hour phone support, 7 days per week available so you will not be on your own.
Home dialysis benefits:
- You are in charge of your care
- Treatment is done in the comfort of your own home
- You can vary your dialysis schedule to fit your life
- No daily travel to a dialysis center
- More frequent dialysis results in better health
- Less restrictive diet than with in-center dialysis
- You may require fewer medications
- Travel is easier than with in-center dialysis
If you are interested, tell your doctor or contact the dialysis unit.
Transplant services are available for Veterans who are eligible. Please contact the dialysis unit for more information.
A vascular surgeon is available to provide hemodialysis access and general surgery is available to provide peritoneal dialysis access as needed and to manage problematic accesses.
The Social Worker for the dialysis unit is trained to help Veterans and their family members reach many services provided by VA to include: psycho/social assistance, insurance and financial guidance, placement assistance for Veterans on dialysis, beneficiary travel, and caregiver support.
For more information about common benefits used by Veterans with kidney disease, please visit: http://www.va.gov/health/services/renal/.
Bldg 2, Ground Floor
950 Campbell Ave.
West Haven, CT 06516
- 203-932-5711 Ext. 3950/3946
Hours of Operation
Monday - Saturday
6:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.