Peritoneal dialysis is a common treatment for individuals facing kidney failure. According to the National Kidney Foundation, nearly 350,000 Americans are currently on dialysis. If you are using dialysis to treat your condition, it is important to consistently check for problems and know how to handle them. Here are some of the things to look at and what they can mean for treatment.
- Weigh Yourself the Same Time Each Day.
Both sudden weight gain and sudden weight loss can indicate problems with dialysis that need to be addressed immediately. If you are experiencing sudden weight gain as well as swelling, difficulty breathing and high blood pressure, there may be too much fluid in your system. If you have sudden weight loss, along with dizziness, there may be too little fluid.
- Check Your Blood Pressure Each Day.
Easy to use machines can help monitor both blood pressure and pulse at home. If you notice a dramatic shift in either of these numbers it can indicate a fluid retention issue that needs to be addressed. Keep a journal of readings so you can look for patterns and changes easily.
- Look at the Fluid, or Dialysate, That You are Draining.
This fluid should be yellow in color and clear. You may also notice small whitish strands of protein. These are not a problem unless they become large enough to clog the tubing. If the fluid is pinkish there may be a larger than normal blood content. This can be common around a woman’s menstrual cycle or after exercise. If it is prolonged you may wish to discuss it with a medical professional. If the fluid is cloudy it is a sign of infection and should be treated immediately.
- Check for Additional Signs of Infection.
If the dialysate is cloudy, and there is additional stomach pain or fever, these may be signs of a serious infection called Peritonitis which needs immediate medical attention. Contact your doctor or the dialysis treatment center immediately.
- Talk to Your Doctor.
If you are experiencing anything out of the ordinary with dialysis it is important to consult with a physician right away. They may prescribe antibiotic medication that needs to be started immediately to treat the infection. Your healthcare professional can also help monitor the process and ensure that your dialysis is effective.
If you’re a dialysis professional looking for a new PD opportunity, give Fortus Healthcare Resources a call today.