Dealing with the Unexpected
In your training, you’ll learn to recognize and act on possible emergencies. The important things to remember are stay calm, refer to your health care team’s instructions and call for assistance when you need it.
If you get a high fever and chills shortly after treatment… you may have bacteria in your dialysate. If you have these symptoms, talk with your care team about checking your water treatment equipment.
If you have painful muscle cramps (“Charlie horses”), vomiting, dizziness, headache, or sweating… your blood pressure may have dropped. Remember your training that included how to raise your feet above your head, and give saline to pull water back into your blood. If you pass out, your care partner should provide or obtain emergency medical attention.
If you see redness or pus or feel warmth or swelling at your access site… call your nurse or doctor right away. An access infection can quickly turn into a life-threatening blood infection (sepsis).
If you experience itching or get a rash during or after treatment… you might be having an allergic reaction to the chemicals used to make the dialyzer. You can rinse the dialyzer with extra saline (sterile salt water) to flush out the chemicals that you react to. Your doctor may also prescribe a drug to help reduce the symptoms of an allergy.