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By Melissa R. Harrell RN, BSN, PD Home Training Nurse & Preceptor
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis from a physician.
What is dialysis adequacy? It is a test performed to verify that you are receiving enough dialysis. Adequate dialysis means that the blood is “well-cleaned.” When patients are adequately dialyzed, they feel better, sleep better, have a better appetite and, usually, their labs will be within a normal range. Generally, patients who are dialyzed adequately can live longer and have a better quality of life. When a patient is not dialyzed adequately, they may experience poor appetite, tiredness, weakness, nausea and vomiting. This leads to poor health and an increased risk of dying. If a patient is experiencing any or all of these symptoms, it is very important to inform their nurse as soon as possible so that they can be evaluated.
The home dialysis care team will schedule regular adequacy testing. The frequency of these tests is based on the type of home dialysis (peritoneal dialysis or home hemodialysis), changes in the dialysis prescription, or changes in the person’s health status.
In order to achieve adequate dialysis, active participation of the person performing home dialysis is required. Here are a few ways patients can help.
Collecting samples to determine adequacy is another task that requires your active participation. Although, the procedure may seem simple, the lab performs complex mathematical calculation once it receives your specimens and correct results depend on collecting specimens per policy. We encourage you to call and review the procedure with your nurse before you start collecting your samples if needed.
Remember, if you have any questions, your home dialysis care team is just a phone call away.
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