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Nationwide, more than 400,000 Americans have kidney disease so bad that they need regular dialysis – meaning they have to connect to a machine for several hours at least three times a week to clean their blood of toxins.
“They have to come at a certain time, so it’s very scheduled, very regimented, and their time is not their own,” says Dr. Robert LaClair, a nephrologist, or kidney specialist at St. Peter’s hospital in Helena.
“The way we do dialysis in this country, no one would be saying, ‘this is the way we should be doing things.’ No one would,” LaClair says.
When he came to St. Peter’s five years ago, LaClair decided he was going to do things differently. He was going to encourage as many of his patients as possible to dialyze at home.
Listen to the complete story online at Montana Public Radio.