Nocturnal dialysis

was wondering how do you sleep in a bed doing dialysis. i have always done it in a chair. looking for advice about taping and just things you do for secure measures. have been doing home hemo about 2 months time to chAnge from the chair to the bed

Hi Terry

First of all, I’ve adapted to sleeping without tossing around much. You do get used to that fairly quickly. It doesn’t take too much movement to be awakened by a pressure alarm.

Not that I would suggest deviating from what you’ve been taught, but this is how I do it:

I have an upper arm fistula with needles that go in upwards, so, my needle tubes go downwards toward my wrist. Both needles are taped down with half a large 10x12 Tegaderm. I slip on a burn net cut to fit over my forearm. I make a cuff with a 4x4 gauze, and I put this around my wrist, over the burn net. I tape each bloodline down with paper tape over that gauze cuff, with the tape going all the way around, one tape for each line. I then secure the end of that last paper tape with a small piece of plastic tape, just for more security, so the end of the paper tape doesn’t catch on a blanket or something and unravel the whole taping job. When I tape the lines on the cuff, I position them so they will be held between my thumb and forefinger. When I’ve done all that, I tape the sensor of my DRI Sleeper alarm just behind the venous needle (this puts it in between the arterial and the venous). For that, I use a piece of plastic tape halved lengthwise. The alarm itself is then secured on my arm simply by turning the burn net down over it. It’s all very secure.

Once I’m ready for bed, I tape the two bloodlines together with paper tape, near where the medicine ports are and again a little further down, just so they won’t catch on the jugs or the corners of the dialysis machine when I move during the night (it makes them move together).

I make it a point to sleep without blankets over that fistula arm. I wasn’t told to do this during my training, but when I was doing hemo in the dialysis centre, I once had a venous needle pull out when the tape holding it down stuck to my blanket - and the venous pressure alarm did NOT sound. I was half sleeping at the time, but luckily, I felt it right away. Another time, my arterial needle pulled out as I put the chair back down because the bloodline got caught between the seat cushion and the arm of the chair. It makes one heck of a mess, not to mention being very dangerous because you lose a lot of blood very fast. So, I’m very careful about that.

Good luck with the change.