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Living with Kidney Failure: Watch the Movie

Man, Fistula and Dialysis machine

Living with Kidney Failure is a three-part film. Embedded in the text below are links to each of the film's chapters and epilogue. The film is best watched in sequence as you read through this page. We would be pleased to receive your comments!

Pour visioner le film en français, cliquer ici.

Introduction to PART 1

The invention of hemodialysis in the 1940s offered a bridge to recovery for young patients with temporary kidney failure. Today, medical technology allows people with permanent kidney failure to survive an average of 5 years. Younger patients can live more than 30 years.

What began as a short term solution to an acute problem has led to the creation of a chronic illness, end-stage renal disease (ESRD), with many accompanying challenges that are not solved by kidney replacement therapy.

People who have ESRD commonly suffer from fatigue, nausea, and increased vulnerability to infection. They also frequently suffer from heart disease, vascular disease, lupus or diabetes.

In Canada, the number of patients with ESRD has increased from 5,549 in 1981 to 30,924 in 2004. This number continues to grow. For people living with ESRD, hemodialysis – a thrice-weekly, four-hour cleansing of the blood – is the most common form of treatment.

What follows is a three-part video series featuring seven people with ESRD who want to raise awareness of this chronic illness.

 PART 1 Dialysis: Patients Tell Their Stories (17 min)

Introduction to PART 2

In our first workshop, using photographs and personal stories, the participants share their experiences of living with a chronic illness. Together, they explore losses, relationships, transformations, insights, and challenges.

 PART 2 Living with CKD: First Patient Workshop (17 min)

Introduction to PART 3

Of every 100 patients receiving ESRD treatment, about 20 die each year. This is comparable to the mortality rate of common cancers. Despite its frequency, death is a difficult topic for dialysis patients and staff to address. In our final workshop, the participants explore this complex issue.

 PART 3 Dying with CKD: Second Patient Workshop (9 min)

Introduction to PART 4

In the final chapter we provide an up-date on the lives of the seven patient-collaborators at the end of this two-year project.

 PART 4 Epilogue and Acknowledgements

Total running time: approximately 46 minutes.

Please provide us with your feedback on the film by clicking on the corresponding link in the menu.