Stopping Catheter Infections on Peritoneal Dialysis

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December 21, 2020 0 Comments

By Mark H. Shapiro, MD

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is among the higher methods to obtain remedy for finish stage renal illness (ESRD). It helps many individuals proceed to steer a wholesome and dynamic life-style.

With the intention to do PD, an space within the stomach must be used to get fluid out and in of the physique. A skinny, versatile peritoneal dialysis catheter permits fluid to enter or drain from the stomach when open, and permits the fluid to stay in place to dwell whereas clamped closed. Nonetheless, this catheter may also grow to be a possible supply of two various kinds of infections: exit web site an infection and peritonitis.

What’s an exit web site an infection?

Regular micro organism stay on the pores and skin and may typically invade broken tissue, inflicting an an infection on the exit web site.

Exit web site infections are often seen. The pores and skin across the exit web site will probably be purple and infected, and crusts with pus are typically current. There could also be some ache and tenderness. If untreated, exit web site infections can worsen, presumably resulting in peritonitis or requiring elimination of the PD catheter. Not all irritated exit websites are contaminated, and it could be troublesome so that you can inform if an an infection exists. A direct examination by the PD nurse is really helpful if there’s a risk of an exit web site an infection.

Delicate infections might require extra cautious PD catheter restraints and native remedy with topical antibiotics, particular cleaning options and/or hypertonic saline. Extreme infections require antibiotics for 2-6 weeks. In instances that don’t enhance, intravenous antibiotics or catheter elimination could also be essential.

Avoiding damage to the exit web site and utilizing every day antibiotic cream are the primary technique of stopping this downside. Most exit web site infections heal fully when applicable remedy is given in a well timed vogue, however the actual key to success is to keep away from them within the first place.

What’s peritonitis?

Peritonitis happens when micro organism invade the peritoneal cavity. That is often brought on by contamination to the within of the PD catheter tubing. Different causes are:

  • Micro organism from an exit web site an infection
  • Micro organism already within the abdomen or intestinal tract (as a consequence of diverticulitis or appendicitis)
  • Contact contamination (The open finish of PD catheter or switch set touches a non-sterile object, equivalent to a hand or mattress sheets; system by accident disconnects; or a tear develops within the catheter or switch set.)

Any notion of contamination requires rapid contact with the PD nurse. Some instances might require a dose of antibiotics, and others might lead to a catheter restore or switch set change. Nonetheless, contamination occasions that aren’t handled typically result in peritonitis. Indicators of peritonitis embody:

  • Stomach ache
  • PD answer seems cloudy after it’s drained
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

If the physician believes peritonitis is probably going, the individual is began on antibiotics. Each day visits with the PD nurse till the signs enhance (2-3 days) are standard. An individual identified with peritonitis will obtain 2-3 weeks of every day antibiotics. Most sufferers with peritonitis get well fully and don’t require hospitalization. Nonetheless, extreme signs might require hospitalization, and peritonitis that doesn’t enhance after 4-5 days might contain elimination of the PD catheter.

A lot of the PD coaching is meant to assist folks keep away from peritonitis, equivalent to:

  • Correct hand washing and applicable use of a masks
  • Use of sterile method when connecting and disconnecting the switch set
  • Glorious catheter care and every day utility of exit web site antibiotics

After an episode of peritonitis, the affected person is predicted to undergo extra coaching to forestall one other an infection.

Methods to forestall PD catheter infections

When going dwelling with a brand new PD catheter, directions are given to maintain the stomach dry and go away the dressings alone. This implies no baths, showers or dressing adjustments for not less than one week. This enables the catheter exit web site to heal and minimizes the probabilities of contamination. Extra directions are given on the first post-operative go to with the dialysis nurse, which often happens one week after surgical procedure.

The PD catheter ought to be correctly taped down or restrained so it doesn’t pull or put stress on the exit web site, inflicting pores and skin irritation. If the exit web site turns into infected, it will increase the likelihood that micro organism usually dwelling on the pores and skin can infect the traumatized tissue and trigger an an infection. Cowl the precise exit web site with gauze to guard it from contact with contaminated surfaces.

The catheter exit web site ought to be cleaned each day with a disinfectant specified by the PD nurse. That is often accomplished every morning, typically after bathing. The exit web site ought to be fastidiously dabbed dry after which cleaned. As well as, a small quantity of antibiotic cream ought to be utilized on the exit web site across the base of the catheter utilizing a cotton swab or comparable system. The every day use of antibiotic cream has been confirmed to scale back the danger of infections.

These are locations the place micro organism exist and may trigger a PD catheter an infection:

  • Un-chlorinated recent water (ponds, lakes, rivers)
  • Soaking in a sizzling tub
  • Taps
  • Bathe heads
  • Colonoscopies
  • Dental cleanings

Swimming in a chlorinated pool or within the ocean is usually effective when you’ve a PD catheter, however it’s greatest accomplished with no fluid within the stomach, and cautious drying and cleansing of the exit web site ought to be accomplished instantly afterwards. Sink taps and bathe heads ought to be cleaned with bleach as soon as every week to scale back micro organism build-up.

Colonoscopies and dental cleanings can enable micro organism to enter the blood stream, inflicting infections. It’s really helpful to name the nurse earlier than such a process is deliberate, as a result of preventative antibiotics could also be given in some conditions.


Peritonitis and PD exit web site infections are unusual, however can grow to be a critical well being downside. Paying cautious consideration when caring for the exit web site and doing exchanges ought to scale back the danger of infections. Looking for rapid assist from a PD nurse is greatest when a attainable contamination develops.

About Mark Shapiro, M.D.

Dr. Shapiro is a nephrologist who practices in Escondido, CA. He did his undergraduate coaching at College of California, Los Angeles, obtained his medical diploma on the College of Pittsburgh, and accomplished his residency coaching and nephrology fellowship on the College of California, San Diego.

Dr. Shapiro is an Assistant Professor of Drugs at College of California, San Diego, but in addition maintains an lively personal nephrology apply within the San Diego space the place he’s president of Palomar Medical Group. His main space of medical curiosity is in peritoneal dialysis (PD). Dr. Shapiro was a medical advisor for PD inside Gambro Healthcare, Inc., and is now the Nationwide Peritoneal Doctor Advisor to DaVita, Inc. As well as, he serves on the Doctor Advisory Council and the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee inside DaVita.

Dr. Shapiro is married and has two sons. He enjoys kayaking, fishing and most different outside sports activities.

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