Things can (and will) go wrong. In my first 3 months on dialysis I;
- Touched the end of my tube – contaminating it,
- Forgot to put liquid into the exchange tubes and opened my tube – putting air right into me,
- Forgot to put my clamp on after the exchange- pouring dialysis fluid on my feet,
- Forgot to heat the dialysis bag – putting cold liquid in me,
to name but a few. Talking to only a few more dialysis patients showed me that I wasn’t the only one and some had done worse. Obviously, the dialysis unit will teach you what to do if something does go wrong but I have some general tips for you;
- Firstly (and the most important) don’t panic! Everything is fixable, either by you or the hospital.
- I found that having my training manual close to hand very helpful to remind we what to do (it was always in my dialysis bag).
- If anything happens to your tube (the one in you) close your clamp and put a new mini cap on – this will give you thinking time or ring the dialysis unit.
- On that note, you must always tell the dialysis unit if something goes wrong. Even if you fix it yourself.
- And lastly, a week after the issue make sure you check your exit site and drain bag (or sample if you are on APD) for any signs of inflection.