Fluctuating volume numbers during PD drains

My father’s “low drain volume” goes off frequently. I then watch the numbers to see if the drain is progressing better. Quite often, the numbers go down 30-40 ml and then back up again. My father hasn’t moved. Is this normal?

Has the doctor checked to see if the catheter is positioned correctly? If is flipped or out of position low down in the abdominal cavity, it won’t drain correctly:

Could he be constipated. The renal diet and fluid limits plus the use of phosphate binders make constipation a real issue in many patients. Most take stool softeners and some need to take laxatives. Talk with the doctor before taking anything.

Be sure to let the home training nurse know this is happening. How is the height of the machine compared to his sleeping position? Ask the home training nurse what s/he would suggest about positioning the machine and the bed.

His nurse might want to try setting the PD machine to leave in a few hundred ccs of fluid at the end of the last drain (called “tidal” dialysis). Doing this can help reduce machine alarms.

You may find other ideas by searching the Forum for “low drain.”

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I have done everything you suggested. My Dad’s nurse thinks the fluctuation of fluid could be a problem with the cycler. I have a call into Baxter and will update you when I learn something.

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