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There are two main types of renal dialysis: dialysis that uses a dialysis machine and peritoneal dialysis. Peritoneal dialysis is the process of using the peritoneal membrane, the membrane that lines the human abdomen, to filter and clean the blood. If a patient experiences kidney failure or kidney damage, the body can begin to build up with harmful wastes, minerals, and excess fluid. If the blood is not properly filtered with dialysis, this build up can be life threatening.
How does Peritoneal Dialysis Work?
The basic process for peritoneal dialysis consists of:
- Introduce a cleansing liquid called dialysis solution into the abdomen via catheter. This solution contains dextrose, a sugar that pulls wastes and extra fluids into the abdominal cavity.
- Allow the cleansing solution to reside in the abdomen, usually for 4-6 hours (dwell time). The membrane on the walls of the abdomen, called the peritoneum, allows waste products to pass from the blood to the dialysis solution.
- Drain the dialysis solution after the prescribed dwell time. This normally takes 30-40 minutes.
Why Patients Choose Peritoneal Dialysis
One of the major benefits of peritoneal dialysis is that you don’t need to make an appointment at a healthcare or medical center. The dialysis can be administered by yourself at home. This gives you more control over your treatment plan but requires the patient to be much more knowledgeable of treatment procedures, safety precautions, etc. It is important for a patient undergoing a peritoneal dialysis treatment program to work very closely with the physicians, dialysis technician, dialysis nurse, dietician, and other healthcare staff involved in the treatment plan.
Dialysis Technician Duties
Even though peritoneal dialysis is normally administered at home, the dialysis technician plays an important role in assisting patients with their dialysis treatment. A dialysis technician helps the patient identify treatment frequency, monitor patient health, and track progress. The dialysis technician plays an important role in any kind of dialysis treatment.