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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis

Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) is self administered and machine free. CAPD exchanges are performed in a clean, private location where the patient is comfortable. The process of exchanging the dialysis fluid is repeated every 4 to 6 hours during the day, with each exchange taking approximately 30 minutes (10 minutes to introduce and 20 minutes to drain the dialysate). Each day, the final dialysis is performed right before the patient goes to bed at night. Since the patient is continually dialyzing, there are usually fewer dietary restrictions. CAPD provides mobility for the patient, and thus an improved quality of life. The details of an exchange are as follows: Fluid that has been dwelling in the peritoneal cavity needs to be removed so fresh fluid may be infused and the blood cleansing process can continue. The catheter is attached to a Y SET. This Y set has a drain bag on one end and a fresh bag of dialysate on the other. For outflow, the empty bag is placed on the floor and the used fluid is allowed to drain into it by gravity. When the bag is full, the line is opened clamped and the inflow line is opened. For inflow, the two litre bag of dialysate is raised above the patients shoulder and the fresh, warm dialysate is infused by gravity. When that bag is empty, the inflow line is closed and the Y set and bags are removed and discarded. The patient then resumes normal activity until it is time for another exchange.

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