P. 15

Some questions you may have

        What can I expect if I choose
        not to start dialysis?
        There is no certain answer to
        this question but we know that
        without dialysis treatment
        people with kidney failure will
        ultimately die. As everyone’s
        situation is different, predicting
        how long you will live is difficult
        and depends on many things.
        The amount of kidney function
        that you have left, the rate of
        decline in your kidney function
                                                                                       As you have a
        and your overall  health will all
        play an important role the                                                long-term relationship
        length of time you have left.
                                                                                  with your renal team,

        What can I expect if I choose                                            the palliative care team
        to stop dialysis treatment?
                                                                                  will work very closely
        Without dialysis treatment,
        toxins will build up in the blood                                                with them.
        causing uraemia, which is
        always fatal. You will lose         Will my doctor and nurses still     local primary care staff such as
        energy and become sleepy and        be involved in my care?             the public health nurse and your
        lethargic. Over time, you will slip  Your doctor and nursing staff      GP will become involved in your
        into a deeper and deeper sleep      will remain in close contact and    care. They will discuss all
        and gradually lose                  available to you and your family.   options available to you, taking
        consciousness completely. It is     You may continue to attend the      into account your preferences,
        hard to know how long this will     hospital outpatient clinic for as   and advise you and your family
        take. However, if you stop          long as you wish.                   about the suitability of each for
        dialysis treatment, you will die                                        you.
        within days to weeks.               Usually, your renal doctor will
                                            recommend that you see a            Will I be able to eat and drink

        Is death from kidney failure        palliative care doctor. As you      whatever I like?
        painful?                            already have a long-term            Typically, there can be some
        Most people who die from            relationship with your renal        relaxation of your renal diet, so
        kidney failure will be kept         doctor and nurses, the palliative   you can enjoy some special
        comfortable and free from pain.     care team will work closely with    treats. However, drinking too
        Some people may experience          them to meet your needs.            much liquid can cause breathing
        pain from other illnesses or as a                                       difficulties and distress. Your
        result of complications from        Will I have a choice about          doctor and dietitian will advise
        their kidney failure. There are     where I will die?                   you about how to best manage
        many very effective treatments      Sometimes people choose to die      your diet and what you can eat
        for controlling pain in these       in the comfort of their own         and drink.
        circumstances.                      homes. If this is your wish, your

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