Health Care

How to Cope with Peritoneal Dialysis – Patient & Family

Peritoneal dialysis can be quite a testing experience for patients coming off from kidney failure or disease – something which is bound to have huge emotional effects on all involved. Loss of kidney means that patients will have to incorporate drastic changes in their everyday living, the most important one being inclusion of a treatment method that substitutes for the lost kidneys – in this case, peritoneal dialysis.

Since it involves the filtration of blood using the inner lining of the abdomen, a lot of preparation, both mental and physical, is required on part of the patient to successfully perform it.

And it is not just the patient who has to cope with the peritoneal dialysis treatment. During the treatment phase, the family plays a crucial part in allaying the apprehensions and fears of the patient, and some of their own as well, by keeping themselves mentally strong and well informed. For example, having knowledge of the right medical equipment for the treatment such as a peritoneal dialysis catheter and knowing the right online portals to purchase it from like Smart Medical Buyer will help the family make better decisions for a safe treatment.

In the following article, we will talk about how both patients and their family can come together to deal with the stresses of peritoneal dialysis and make the journey smooth, easy and without complications – all by understanding the procedure better and gradually getting used to it.

Understanding the procedure of Peritoneal Dialysis

Since peritoneal dialysis can be performed at any clean and dry location such as a home, many kidney patients prefer opting for this treatment. Using peritoneal dialysis means no scheduling of visits to dialysis centres every month.

Essentially, in PD, as it is called in the medical fraternity, the lining of the patient’s abdomen (the belly area) is used as a filter for cleaning the blood. This lining is technically termed as peritoneum. Along with it, a specially prepared solution called dialysate is also used in order to absorb waste and fluid from the blood. During PD, the dialysate is filled in the patient’s abdomen and allowed to sit for a period called the dwell time. Once it is over, the used dialysate is drained out and fresh one is filled inside in a cycle that usually takes 30-40 minutes. That said, PD is recommended to be performed every day.

It is always advised to have a thorough discussion with your doctor before settling on the PD as the chosen treatment along with its preferred type. Basically, patients have the option of choosing from CCPD (a machine-assisted dialysis that can be carried out in the night) or CAPD (a manual dialysis which must be performed in the day).

Preparing for Peritoneal Dialysis

It is natural for the patient and the family to be nervous before accepting PD as a routine treatment. In such an event, having honest discussions with your doctor and with people and families who have an experience in the treatment will be of immense help.

Before peritoneal dialysis can begin, the patient has to undergo a minor surgery to insert an important piece of medical equipment called the catheter in the abdomen. This is done by creating a small incision in the abdomen through which a soft, flexible tube called the catheter is passed and installed. This will serve as the conduit for the dialysate during the procedure. From thereon, maintenance and cleanliness of the catheter is extremely important.

Next, the family must prepare the home if the idea is to perform peritoneal dialysis in comfortable surroundings. Although any space or room can be chosen for performing the procedure daily, utmost care must be taken to keep it clean, dry and free of pets or plants. One must also create space for safe storage of dialysis supplies.

Things to keep in mind

One of the most important things for the patient and the family to keep in mind is to fit in the treatment with their lifestyle and figure out if peritoneal dialysis would severely hamper it in any way. If it is possible to carry out PD at work, then patients can broach the possibility with their employers. Planning travel in advance is extremely important for patients and family to ensure that the treatment remains on track whatever the location. Availing a health insurance is also a good idea to pay for the treatment and prevent it from becoming a financial liability. As for dialysis supplies and other medical equipment, one must trust only online medical portals where medical professionals procure their equipment from such as Smart Medical Buyer. Here, you can also research about medical equipment such as Bactigras dressing uses or selecting the ideal catheter and more.

Opting for any dialysis procedure including peritoneal dialysis comes with its share of responsibilities. Dialysis patients must follow a strict diet plan and take their medications on time as prescribed by the doctor. It is essential that families ensure that this is followed to the T.

The family can also encourage the patient to indulge in recreational activities and exercises as approved by the doctor. This allows the patient to feel more confident about his or health rather than giving in to the negative feeling of the illness being a ‘burden’ on all.

SUMMARY: In this article, we learn about peritoneal dialysis in detail and how patients and their families can cope with the treatment as well as the lifestyle changes it brings to the table. Learn how patients and families can best prepare for the treatment.