Air entrapment - Peritoneal cavity

Hello All, hope you all well and keeping safe.
I am on APD dialysis during the machine setup I connected myself to the machine before the priming process to completed ( big blunder ). Luckily I realised within first minute and closed the security clip. Once priming completed I open the lock on catheter and start the drainage. Since then I am feeling pain in my shoulders, upper back , ribs and stomach. Pain comes and goes. I contacted my PD team they advised to take pain killers and if pain gets unbearable go to A&E.

Due to covid 19 l don’t want to go A&E.

Did anyone of you came across this situation and if youare , what’s steps did you take to counter this. Did you go hospital or it goes away in a few days?

Your help will be much appreciated.



Hi Asad,
I have previously had pain in my shoulders and chest due to trapped air from machine, it us so painful.
It did go away after a few hours and a dose of co codamol.
Hope you feel better soon

Hello Kathyg,
Good to know that it will go away eventually. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Hi Asad:

Sorry to hear about your experience. Good news is that it is not dangerous - it’s just uncomfortable. When air gets in the peritoneal cavity, it gets trapped up under the diaphragm. This causes you to feel discomfort not in your abdomen, but way up by your collar bones and shoulders. The air gets absorbed, usually in a day or two.

It happen when the APD treatment is initiated prior to the patient line being fully primed. With the Baxter HomeChoice, this occurs when the patient line is not unclamped for the priming process. If you notice that the line was clamped before you connect, you can open the clamp and scroll down with the down arrow to the “reprime patient line” option. The line will prime and you can start your treatment. Hope you never have it happen again!

Alan Falcioni MSN, RN, CNN
Renal Clinical Consultant
Anacapa Technologies
Alta Loma, CA

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Thanks for your reply, Appreciated. My pain went away in three days as you said exactly. Thanks for providing detailed answer it will definitely help and many others. Unfortunately I did contact my PD unit for this issue but as usual not a straight forward answer from them and advised my to go A&E for this issue. You guys are life savers. Bless you all.

I just experienced the worst pain in my life. I must have got air in my line even though i primed my line while doing my twin bag . It didnt last long(an hr) but it started in my shoulder and then my ribs and stomach. Thats when i figured i must have gotten air .

my grandson has just started with APD. during our training our PD nurse had suggested a child pose position for 2 hours in case it happens…

How long has the PD cath been in place?