Monitoring Your Labs
Know your numbers
Even if you’re not a “numbers” person, it’s important to have a basic understanding of your hemodialysis labs and kidney function numbers. This way, you can know if you’re meeting your goals or if there is anything you need to do to help improve your results.
The top two indicators: Kt/V and URR
Kt/V should be at least 1.2 or above—Kt/V stands for clearance multiplied by time divided by volume. This ratio allows your doctor to understand how well waste has been removed by your dialysis treatment.
When Kt/V and URR are low
- Checking to make sure you have good vascular access
- Increasing the blood flow rate through the dialyzer
- Increasing the duration of dialysis—for example, if your treatments have been 3 hours in length, they may be increased to 4 hours
Your lab tests and what they trackWhile Kt/V and URR are important, they’re not the only tests you need to know about.
Below is a basic chart of common blood tests for people receiving dialysis. Your tests may be similar. The chart shows what the tests measure, but you should ask your nurse or doctor to explain your tests in more detail. And be sure to ask them what your lab test goals are. If you’re not meeting your goals, ask what you can do to improve your results.
Know your labs
|Lab Tests:||Dialysis Treatment||Heart Health||Bone Health||Nutrition|
|What the test measures|