Low Drain Alarm on patient that is disabled


I take care of my brother and he is disabled and bed-ridden. We started PD Dialysis in June and we have consistently had low-drain alarms. I have tried re-positioning him and it doesn’t help much. Does any one have the same circumstances? Have any suggestions for this issue? I have spoken with many people at the dialysis center but nothing new with ideas of how to help this.

I appreciate any help you can offer.




Some possible reasons for drain alarms:

  • Could the catheter have migrated to a position where too much fluid remains in the peritoneal cavity? An abdominal x-ray can identify it this is the problem.

  • Are your brother’s bowels moving regularly? Many dialysis patients get constipated due to lack of activity, fluid restriction and especially phosphate binders. Constipation can prevent fluid from moving through the catheter like it should. Most have to take medications to keep bowels moving.

  • Is the cycler at the right height compared to your brother’s bed? Some people have said that having the cycler positioned higher than the bed is best.

Does he have a manual for the PD cycler that he’s using. You might want to check the manual to see if it offers information on troubleshooting low drain volume or you could call the manufacturer of his cycler to ask about possible causes.