Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) can be Used Safely Long Term

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Peritoneal is a home dialysis treatment for those with End Stage Renal Disease. There are several reasons people decide to dialyze at home. In fact, many more could (approximately 30%), but only 8% of all the dialysis patients in the U.S. decided to use home dialysis primarily out of their fear of infection over the long term. Below are some "dos and don'ts" to successfully avoid acquired infections while using peritoneal dialysis successfully at home:

  • While taking a daily shower (avoid baths), do not submerge catheter or site. PD patients should not swim in fresh water (e.g., lakes, ponds), hot tubs, or public swimming pools. However, swimming in private chlorinated swimming pools and the ocean maybe alright, because of the lower risk of contamination.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before placing them on exit site or catheter, and make sure not to use alcohol or any spirits to clean around exit site.
  • Wear clean and properly washed clothes that are well fitted as you do not want to tie a belt over exit site or catheter.  
  • Check your exit site and catheter daily for any abnormalities, without pulling or putting any pressure on it.
  • Keep the exit site clean at all times, but do not use any powder or cream except that which your doctor has prescribed.
  • Do not use sharp objects on or near catheter, and follow dressing procedures.
  • Avoid irritating the skin when replacing tape. If the skin should become irritated, resist the temptation to scratch the exit site, and contact your doctor as soon as possible to obtain appropriate anointment to stop the itching.  

If you think home dialysis is better for you than going into the clinic three (3) days a week because it gives you a better cleaning, more freedom, and a more relaxed diet, you may want to consider the peritoneal option. Be careful to pay attention to the basic dos and don'ts mentioned above, especially all aseptic procedures.  

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