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Getting Prepared for Peritoneal Dialysis

Before you begin peritoneal dialysis (PD), your home therapies nurse will visit with you in your home. He or she will check your home for safety and see where you plan to do your treatments.
Preparing for peritoneal dialysis.

Setting up your space

To do PD, you’ll need:
  • A clean and well-lit room or other area you can close off. Pets should not be in your treatment area while you are connecting or disconnecting your catheter for treatment—during the time when the system is “open” and more prone to the bacteria and germs pets may carry.
  • Space for storing your supplies.
  • A grounded outlet if you are doing automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) using a cycler.

Getting creative with storing supplies

Supplies will take up space. Your home therapies nurse will talk with you about how to organize your supply storage area for your medication, your dialysate solution and tubing sets, as well as your cycler, if you’re choosing to do APD.
Storage space for peritoneal dialysis

5 expert tips to help with storage

  1. Look at stacking higher, as well as wider. Depending on your space, you may be able to stack some supplies on top of each other as long as they’re stable—which could save you floor space.
  2. Maximize hidden storage space. Try sliding supplies under the bed, out of sight.
  3. Stash small supplies in movable storage. Plastic stacking drawers on wheels can hold small supplies—and be moved out of the way when not in use.
  4. Order fewer supplies at a time. Having 1 month of supplies on hand is ideal. If you’re having space issues though, it may be possible to order a smaller amount.
  5. Take what you can out of boxes. Some supplies have to remain boxed if you want to return what you don’t use. But smaller items can be removed to cut down on volume.

How much storage space is enough?

A closet-sized space is typically needed for supplies. Your home therapies nurse is an expert at helping you prepare your space and finding ways to store your supplies. He or she can help you get organized, feel comfortable and make preparations feel seamless.
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Four tips to get ready for peritoneal dialysis (PD)

  1. Meet with a PD nurse.

    Have a home visit by your home therapies nurse to see where you can do your treatments and store supplies.

  2. Plan for catheter placement.

    If it’s a go, know you’ll need to plan ahead to have a catheter placed. It takes a few days to 2 weeks to heal and be ready to use, depending on the urgency to start treatment.

  3. Get dialysis training.

    PD takes up to 2 weeks to learn and master. You’ll visit a center for detailed training.

  4. Identify a dialysis partner.

    Even though you can do PD on your own, family members or friends are welcome to help you do exchanges.

Planning for your PD catheter

After surgical placement, your peritoneal dialysis catheter needs 2 weeks to heal—or possibly less, depending on the urgency to start treatment. If you know you’re going to start PD eventually but you have some time before you go on dialysis, you may be able to get a “buried” catheter placed in advance, so it’s ready to go when you are.
Proper catheter care is important
Taking good care of your catheter is key to avoiding infection and staying your healthiest. Your nurse will teach you how to keep your access site clean and how to avoid infection.
See how to care for a PD catheter