Monitoring Your Care
During your dialysis treatment, you can take an active role in monitoring your care:
- Tell your care team if you have pain or feel funny.
- Keep your access in clear sight of your care team. Never cover it up! If a needle came out, you could lose a lot of blood very quickly.
- Learn to check your machine. As you learn more about it, you can double-check the settings yourself. In time, you can learn where to check your fluid goal, treatment time, and blood pump speed.
Every month, you will have a series of tests to check the levels of certain substances in your blood. These tests help your doctor see how you’re doing and decide your dialysis prescription. They are used to decide which medications or diet changes may be needed. They may also suggest when more testing is needed to pinpoint problems.
The URR or Kt/Vtest checks how well your dialysis is working and tells your doctor how your treatments are working. They look at how much extra urea is removed from your blood during treatment. Although urea is just one waste product your body produces, how well it is removed is a clue to how well other wastes are removed.
A hemoglobin test measures the amount of red blood cells. A lowered blood count can mean anemia, which makes you feel tired and weak.
Calcium and phosphorus tests check levels so that you can keep them in a safe balance to make sure your bones stay healthy.
An albumin test shows how much protein you have in your diet. If you don’t have enough protein, you will become malnourished, and your body will steal protein out of your muscles.