The merits of Peritoneal Dialysis are clear: When compared with the more commonly used Hemodialysis option, Chronic Kidney Disease patients are able to have a more liberal diet and they can better control their fluids which may reduce stress on the heart and blood vessels (heart related events are the leading cause of death in Dialysis patients). Further, with Peritoneal Dialysis, patients may use fewer medications, do more of their daily activities, and in some cases - work and travel more easily, suggested the National Kidney Foundation. If this is the case, then why are both Chronic Kidney Disease patients and Nephrologists rapidly gravitating away from the Dialysis Treatment option?
DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. went as far to say, "Peritoneal Dialysis is one of the better ways to receive treatment for End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). It helps many people continue to lead a healthy and dynamic lifestyle." However, Nephrology News reported that, "The number of new starts on Peritoneal Dialysis in the U.S. took a major plunge this past year." The study found that the drop may be in part attributed to a shortage of Dialysate, which is necessary for performing Peritoneal Dialysis treatments.
In more detail, the figures from 2014 to 2015 revealed that only 1,393 patients chose to start Peritoneal Dialysis which is an astonishing drop from the 4,357 patients during the 2013 to 2014 year. Baxter Healthcare Corporation controls the majority of the Peritoneal Market in the United States and suggested that due to the Dialysate shortage they would " temporarily limit the number of new Peritoneal Dialysis patient referrals across their entire base of customers."
Still, most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients are likely thinking about other factors involved with the sharp decline in patient use. Well, while some patients are, "Very happy with my Peritoneal Dialysis," others have experienced serious complications such as the painful and most common infection Peritonitis. This infection occurs around the catheter site and can infect the lining of the abdominal wall. Less commonly, there may be problems related to the catheter itself.
Recommended Reading: Peritoneal should be Offered to all CKD Patients as a Dialysis Treatment.
Also, many do not realize that the fluid used to clean the blood in Peritoneal Dialysis contains sugar (dextrose), and patients may take in "several hundred calories each day by absorbing some of this fluid, known as Dialysate. Weight gain may follow. The extra calories can also lead to High Blood Sugar especially if you have Diabetes," according to the Mayo Clinic. Peritoneal Dialysis may also weaken the abdominal muscles due to holding fluid in the belly for long periods of time.
Are these complications deterring others from starting Peritoneal Dialysis? Would they deter you? Nephrology News noted a rise in Nocturnal Hemodialysis programs in response to limitations in Peritoneal Dialysis. Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients should also realize that the number of patients starting Dialysis in general is decreasing so there is a smaller pool of new patients.
If you are on Peritoneal Dialysis currently and you are experiencing negative side effects, perhaps In-Center Nocturnal Dialysis may be a better option. What's more, for patients who would like to start Peritoneal Dialysis, let you Nephrologists know as there may be a list or process in order to be considered given the new Dialysate limitations.
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