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What is peritoneal dialysis?

Home Peritoneal Dialysis Machine

Home Peritoneal Dialysis Machine

What is peritoneal dialysis?
Peritoneal dialysis is a medical treatment that is used to remove waste and excess fluid from the body in patients with kidney failure. It involves using the peritoneum, a membrane that lines the abdominal cavity, as a natural filter to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood. During peritoneal dialysis, a sterile dialysis solution is introduced into the peritoneal cavity through a small tube called a catheter that is surgically placed into the abdomen. The solution, which contains glucose and other electrolytes, helps to draw waste and excess fluid from the bloodstream through the peritoneal membrane and into the dialysate. After a few hours, the dialysate is drained from the abdomen, taking the waste and excess fluid with it.
There are two main types of peritoneal dialysis: continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) and automated peritoneal dialysis (APD). CAPD involves manual exchanges of dialysis fluid several times a day, whereas APD uses a machine to automatically fill and drain the peritoneal cavity overnight while the patient sleeps.
Peritoneal dialysis can be a convenient and flexible option for some patients, as it can be done at home and doesn’t require frequent trips to a dialysis center. However, it may not be suitable for everyone, and the choice of dialysis modality should be made in consultation with a nephrologist.

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Is it safe?
Peritoneal dialysis is a safe and effective treatment for people with kidney failure. However, like any medical procedure, there are some risks associated with peritoneal dialysis.
Some of the potential risks associated with peritoneal dialysis include infection, bleeding, hernias, and other complications related to the catheter placement. Patients may also experience side effects such as abdominal pain, nausea, and constipation.
To reduce the risk of complications, it is important that patients receive proper training on how to perform peritoneal dialysis, how to maintain good hygiene, and how to monitor for signs of infection or other problems. Patients should also be under the care of a healthcare provider who is experienced in the management of peritoneal dialysis.
Overall, peritoneal dialysis can be a safe and effective treatment option for people with kidney failure, but it is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with a healthcare provider to determine if it is the right option for an individual patient’s needs.

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Is it expensive?
The cost of peritoneal dialysis can vary depending on several factors, including the location, the type of peritoneal dialysis, and the patient’s insurance coverage. In the United States, peritoneal dialysis is less expensive than hemodialysis, which is the other main type of dialysis. However, the overall cost can still be significant, especially for patients without insurance coverage.
Medicare typically covers the cost of peritoneal dialysis for eligible patients, and many private insurance plans also cover the cost of the treatment. Some patients may be eligible for financial assistance programs, such as Medicaid or assistance from charitable organizations, to help cover the cost of peritoneal dialysis.
It is important to discuss the cost of peritoneal dialysis with a healthcare provider and insurance provider to determine what expenses will be covered and what out-of-pocket costs a patient may be responsible for.

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How is peritoneal dialysis done?
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a type of dialysis that uses the lining of the abdomen (the peritoneum) as a filter to remove waste and excess fluid from the body.The procedure is done in the following steps:

  1. Catheter insertion: A catheter is inserted into the abdominal cavity through a small incision made near the belly button. The catheter is a flexible tube that will be used to inject and remove the dialysis solution.
  1. Dialysis solution infusion: The dialysis solution, which contains a mixture of electrolytes and minerals, is infused into the abdominal cavity through the catheter. The solution is left in the peritoneal cavity for several hours to allow waste products and excess fluid to pass from the blood vessels into the solution.
  1. Dwell time: The dwell time is the amount of time the dialysis solution remains in the abdomen. It can vary from a few hours to overnight, depending on the patient’s needs.
  1. Drainage: After the dwell time, the used dialysis solution is drained out of the abdomen through the catheter and discarded. This process is repeated several times a day to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance.

The peritoneal membrane acts as a natural filter and removes the waste products and excess fluids from the blood vessels. The dialysis solution is designed to draw out these waste products through a process called osmosis.
The process of peritoneal dialysis is typically done at home and can be performed by the patient or a trained caregiver. It requires regular monitoring and adjustments by a healthcare provider to ensure proper dialysis and to prevent complications.

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Here are some statistics related to peritoneal dialysis:

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Worldwide use
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a widely used form of renal replacement therapy around the world, although its use varies by country and region. Here are some facts about its use worldwide:
According to the 2020 Global Burden of Disease study, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the 12th leading cause of death worldwide, and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among those with CKD.
The International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis (ISPD) estimates that there are 200,000 people on peritoneal dialysis worldwide.
The ISPD reports that peritoneal dialysis (PD) is used to treat kidney failure in approximately 11% of patients worldwide. However, the use of PD varies significantly depending on the country and its healthcare system. For instance, in Hong Kong, where a PD-first policy is implemented, 71% of patients use PD, while in Mexico, 61% of patients use PD due to a lack of availability of other forms of dialysis. PD is considered the most cost-effective form of kidney replacement therapy (KRT) in many parts of the world, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where it is more prevalent due to its lower cost and greater flexibility.
The availability and affordability of peritoneal dialysis equipment and supplies, as well as access to trained healthcare providers who can provide training and support for patients, are factors that can affect the use of PD in different countries and regions.
The ISPD has developed guidelines for the use of peritoneal dialysis in different settings, including low-resource settings, to help promote the safe and effective use of this therapy worldwide. These guidelines emphasize the importance of patient selection, appropriate training and support, and regular monitoring and follow-up care to prevent complications and ensure optimal outcomes.

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Traveling while on peritoneal dialysis (PD) is possible, but it requires some additional planning and preparation. Here are some things to consider if you are planning to travel while on PD:
Notify your healthcare team: Before you travel, be sure to notify your healthcare team and let them know where you will be going and for how long. They can help you plan for managing your PD while you are away and can provide you with any additional supplies or equipment you may need.
Plan for supplies: If you are traveling domestically, you may be able to have your supplies shipped to your destination ahead of time. If you are traveling internationally, you may need to carry your supplies with you. Be sure to pack enough supplies to last for your entire trip, plus a few extra days in case of delays or unexpected events.
Check with your airline: If you are traveling by air, check with your airline ahead of time to see if they have any specific requirements or restrictions for carrying PD supplies on board. You may need to carry a letter from your healthcare provider stating that you require these supplies for medical reasons.
Find a dialysis center at your destination: If you are traveling for an extended period, you may need to find a dialysis center at your destination where you can receive your PD treatments. The International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis (ISPD) has a directory of PD centers around the world that you can use to find a center at your destination.
Consider travel insurance: If you are traveling internationally, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance that includes coverage for medical emergencies, including complications related to your PD treatment.
With careful planning and preparation, it is possible to travel while on PD. Be sure to work closely with your healthcare team to develop a plan that works for you and your specific needs.

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Disposal of used supplies
The disposing of used supplies for peritoneal dialysis (PD) should be done in a safe and responsible manner to prevent the spread of infection and protect the environment. Here are some guidelines for disposing of used PD supplies:
Follow local regulations: The rules and regulations for disposing of medical waste may vary depending on the location. Be sure to check with your local health department or waste management authority to determine the appropriate guidelines for disposing of used PD supplies in your area.
Use appropriate containers: Used PD supplies, such as empty bags of dialysis solution, tubing, and catheter dressings, should be placed in designated medical waste containers that are leak-proof and clearly marked as containing medical waste. Do not dispose of used PD supplies in regular trash cans or recycling bins.
Seal and label containers: Once the medical waste container is full, seal it tightly and label it clearly with the date and contents. This will help prevent accidental exposure to medical waste and make it easier to track and dispose of the waste properly.
Arrange for proper disposal: Depending on the local regulations, you may need to arrange for the pickup and disposal of the medical waste container by a licensed medical waste disposal company. Some healthcare facilities may provide this service, or you may need to contract with a third-party company to handle the disposal.
The disposal of used PD supplies should be done in a way that is safe, responsible, and compliant with local regulations. Be sure to follow the guidelines provided by your healthcare team and local authorities to ensure that medical waste is handled properly.

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