Our handicapped man on PD has been getting repeted gram positive, (staph), infections causing cloudy fluid in his drain bags. He goes on a few weeks of antibiotics and after the antibiotics stop he goes cloudy again after a couple weeks or less. The Dr. is now doing 6 weeks of antibiotics. She thinks the infection is colonizing, whatever that means, and will consider removing his cathater if the infection returns after this 6 week antibiotic treatment. Can anyone explain to me in understandable terms what colonizing means and why this would cause her to want to remove the cathater?
Thank you,

I suspect what they think may be happening is that the germs from the infection that he had have attached themselves to his catheter and no amount of antibiotics is going to kill them.

Some things that can cause infection that can lead to this happening include:
– Accidental contamination during the exchange process could occur due to technique of doing the exchange or even ventilation in the room.
– Care of the catheter is important. If anyone possibly has staph aureus in their nose and helps to do an exchange, this is one way people can get infected and using mupirocin during catheter care has been shown to reduce infection rates.
– How someone bathes can risk infection and many clinics recommend against tub baths or swimming in public pools.
– Infection can occur during surgery that can cause an infection in the tunnel leading into the abdomen. This can caure reinfection and contamination of the catheter.

If his catheter is contaminated, he will need to have it removed and replaced. How well is the PD working at removing toxins? If he’s had multiple infections, his peritoneal membrane may not be working very well and he may need to go back to hemodialysis. If so, you might ask about home hemodialysis. You can read about the options for home hemodialysis on the home page for this site under “The 5 Types of Home Dialysis.”