Our goal at PCN is to have the client completely independent with his/her care. Initially the client undergoes in-depth teaching at the Dialysis Clinic regarding BP and weight monitoring, choosing appropriate solutions, medication management, diet, signs and symptoms of infection with action to be taken if an infection occurs, and how to order Dialysis supplies. Once you have been discharged from hospital, a PCN nurse with Dialysis background will visit to ensure the transition to home is a smooth one.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I know if I have an infection?

    You will feel unwell, possibly nauseated with vomiting. You will have a fever, chills, abdominal pain, or cramping. Your effluent may be cloudy. Your Nephrologist will make a diagnosis.

  2. What causes this infection?

    There are 4 causes for an infection;

    1. The most common – contamination of tubing ends when connecting or disconnecting from machine causing an infection in your abdomen.

    2. Exit site infections – where the tube comes thru the skin or where the tube tunnels may be a source of infection.

    3. Constipation – causes improper drainage of effluent allowing for retention of fluid in abdomen which results in peritonitis.

    4. The most rare – dialysate bag is contaminated (cloudy), has leak, or date has expired.

  3. How can I prevent an infection?

    1. Practice good clean technique – always mask before starting, good 3-minute hand wash with antibacterial soap, have clean work area free of drafts. ie. No open windows, no dust; if others are present they must also mask.

    2. Always check exit site when changing dressing. If tender, red, any drainage or swelling also check tunnel pathway for pain, streaking. Check catheter for breaks, cracks. Clean exit site with soap and water, dry with clean towel then cleanse with antibacterial (ie. Betadine), apply dry dressing.

    3. Avoid constipation – make sure bowels move regularly. Use laxatives, only those prescribed by the doctor. No over the counter laxatives as they may contain magnesium and aluminum. These 2 elements can’t be removed thru dialysis.

    4. Always check the bags before preparation for clarity, leaks and expiry date.

    If any of the above problems occur then the clinic should be notified ASAP.

  4. Sometimes I see white threads in my drainage bag. Is it an infection?

    The white treads are called fibrin. This can be present without an infection. Sometimes fibrin can cause problems with proper drainage. Small amounts of Heparin will need to be ordered by the doctor and added to the bag. If you are unable to tell if the bag is cloudy or fibrin is present then the clinic should be notified and your bag of effluent should be taken to the clinic for testing.

  5. What causes blood in my drainage?

    Blood may occur more often in women than men due to ovulation or menstruation. It can also occur during exercise. If blood is persistent, call your doctor.

  6. What should I do if the tubing should become disconnected?

    Immediately clamp the catheter and notify the dialysis unit.