NxStage Red 38 Alarms Everywhere - Help


Im recently new to the NxStage Machine. Ive been on it about 2 months. Approx 3 days ago, i received a Red Alarm 38 towards the end of my treatment with about 30 minutes left to go. This indicates the Balancing system inside the machine has mailfunctioned. After looking at everything the book indicated, I could not figure out what the issue was so I called nxstage. They sent new cartridges out saying there was a defect with the lot number i had.
Tried the new cartridges the next day and Boom, the same thing at the beginning of the treatment…red 38 alarms. After I cleared the alarms and after the pump started again, the machine would just keep alarming with the red 38 alarm. It then went to a red 39. Had to call it quits for day and called nxstage again.
They send a new maching thinking it may be a bad machine. So i received the new maching, got it set up and started another treatment…eith 10 minutes left…BOOM Red 38 followed by a 14.

Does anyone know or have had this issue recently with new cartridges? or know what else the problem may be.
It is driving me crazy an the NXstage people cant seem to find the problem. If this keeps up, i may have to go back in clenic for treatment :frowning:
Any info is greatly apprcieated!!

How long have you been using your waste line and are you sure it isn’t kinked? I used to get it during prime but could clear it by hitting mute stop and then the start again. If you haven’t tried changing your waste line I would try that and make sure you don’t accidently still have the cap on the end or a clamp closed.

home hemo 9/04

Hi Cathy,

I dont think its an issue with the waste line. Nothing is kinked or clamped. When i get the 38 and clear it, it goes through the reset cycle and as soon as the 8 clears, the 38 appears within seconds.
I will say, i used to use 2 waste lines to connect to the bathroom, but have switched to one line and empty into buckets to save using double lines.
I will try using two lines again and empty into bathroom to see if that does anything, but i really dont think that is the issue. Especially since it came towards the end of treatment this last time.
I will see what friday brings during my treatment. Do you think it may be an issue with the fluid warmer?


I would doubt it is the heater, you do get the air out prior to starting don’t you?? If not, then maybe as a little air gets in there it could alarm. Your bags are draining evenly and you aren’t running out of dialysate??

Since you are fairly new, I would maybe review my set up procedure and make sure you are doing all the steps. Since it is happening only at the end of treatment I would think you are, but…

Keep us posted, I haven’t had any problems with mine since the new cartridges came out and only had one time I had to use a new cartridge during set up, never a problem at the end of treatment.


I remember getting that once, but mine just stayed there locked…this happened after a year using my machine…they send a new machinr less than 24 hours and since then its been working correctly…

38 seems to be the fluid chamber failure, those small pouches on the cartridges…are you inserting cartridges correctly?

What about your pressure? Is venous pressure nornal? arterial pressure normal? How high do you run the heater at?

Hi Gus,

I have been running the heater at 1:00 or 2:00 o clock position since I have started nxstage 3 months ago.
Venus and arterial pressures are the same as they have always been with arterial being around 180-240 and venus being around 170-220.
I run at 400 and use 15 liters.

Is it ok to open the heater door up in the middle of a treatment to see if all ofthe pouches are filled with fluid?
I will try turning the heater down today and double check everything. ill keep you posted for i will be trying again in about an hour.

thanks gus.

Try turning down the dialysate flow rate.

Dialysate bags still have fluid in them. On yesterdays treatment, the fluid rate through the treatment was 7.4. after i reached my goal, i turned it up to 8.4 and that is when the 38 appeared. But the prior treatment i received 38’s right from th start of the treatment at a flow rate of 7.2.
Even after I turn the rate down, i still received 38’s.

I will try turning the heater down today to see if that does anything.

I will let you know what todays treatment does.

Okay, we’ll standby…you might also want to join “Nxstage Users Group”…others users there may be able to give you more feedback…



I’ve had that happen. I’m new also to nxstage. Have you cleaned the mirror?

bobeleanor :?:


Does anyone know or have had this issue recently with new cartridges? or know what else the problem may be.
It is driving me crazy an the NXstage people cant seem to find the problem. If this keeps up, i may have to go back in clenic for treatment

I am reading this thread and it is making me really nervous that you have to ask fellow NxStagers for help to solve your tx problem when Nxstage technical should be helping you. Please tell me you have heard from NxStage by now with a solution :shock:

This is one of the rarest cases I heard, though it happened to me once the new replacement machine corrected the problem. Perhaps some of us may get not too lucky on replacement machines…perhaps a 3rd replacement might help, but really it may take some troubleshooting first.

I took my new machine on vacation the first time to show off to family members. Got that 38 alarm over and over everyother treatment! Almost ruined my vacation and family was not impressed at all. I was pretty sure it was faulty cartridges, and sent them back to company. Have not heard anything from them and had no problem with new box after returning home. This worries me that they can not find the problem.

That’s strange, only on vacation and once back home its all okay? Did you pay attention to the cartrdige lot numbers?Are they the same as the ones you used on vacation?


Sorry to hear you also are receiving the 38 alarms. Yes i also gave them the lot numbers of the cartridges and they had sent me new ones but i still received the 38’s. It is very nerve racking when you get them. I do believe this is happening to more people than nxstage is saying.

Gail, please email me (briddler22@aol.com) or message me if you continue to receive them.


Just speculating but, how hot is it where you live? Did it just start in summertime? :roll:

How much fluid do you remove per tx? Do you remove all fluid prior to the end of tx or set it to be removed to the last minute of tx?

I usually remove approx 1 kilo during treatments. If i have an off day, i will remove up to 2.2 kilos during the treatment.
I usually remove all the fluid before treatment is over with about 10- 15 minutes remaining of a 2.25 hour treatment.
I would usually get the alarm after my fluid goal has been reached and I increase dialysate rate - a process I have done for months and never had a problem until recently.

Nxstage has sent new replacement cartridges and since then, i have not had a 38 alarm ( knock on wood ) 8)

This thread ended after two posters with the red 38 alarms discovered it was the cartridges. Has anyone experienced other reasons for getting a red 38?