Peritoneal dialysis is one of the treatment modalities for end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. Treatments are done at home and on a daily basis. ESRD patients who decide to go on PD, will have a PD catheter placed in their abdomen and within an abdominal space called the peritoneum. Dialysis fluids are placed in that space using the PD catheter. The exchange between the blood and the dialysis fluids occurs via the peritoneal membrane.
There are different types of PD modalities; the more common types are: Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) and Automated Peritoneal Dialysis.
In CAPD, patients manually do the fluid exchanges several times during the day and leaves fluid in the abdomen overnight (night dwell).
APD patients use a machine called a cycler, which perform the exchanges overnight while the patient is a sleep and leaves fluid in the abdomen to dwell during the day.
It is important for patients to follow instructions on how to take care of the PD catheter and how to connect and disconnect dialysis fluid bags to avoid infections of the peritoneal cavity (Peritonitis). Pain in the abdomen, fever and cloudy dialysis fluid are some of the signs and symptoms that should alert the patient and physician to the possible development of peritonitis.
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Peritoneal Dialysis (PD)