The machine keeps beeping

Hello, My husbands home dialysis machine constantly beeps and he has been using it for almost a year now, so he knows how to use it. Whenever he mentions the beeping to the clinic, they just give him various reasons and almost blow him off. Sometimes the machine says “low drain flow” as one of the reasons for the beeping. He jiggles the hoses and changes positions… but it happens anyway and sometimes for other reasons. He is not getting any sleep and this affects his blood pressure. Why does it keep beeping?

Hello, I apologize for the questions, trying to get a better idea of the issue. When you say that the machine constantly beeps-- does it always display an alarm or error message? Or is it just beeping? I know you said that sometimes the machine gives a “low drain flow” alarm, what are the others? Are they related to each other? Has your clinic looked at the logs from the cycler and gone through the alarms so they can see, minute by minute, what you guys are experiencing at night? The usual things to do for this would be to make absolutely certain constipation isn’t a factor. I know you’re probably really sick of nurses mentioning poop to you, but most of the time when we’re getting drain issues in PD, that’s really what it is. If it’s not constipation, could it be an occlusion of some kind (ie: fibrin) and is he using heparin if that has previously been an issue. Has he gone for an x-ray to check the terminal position of the catheter and confirm it has not flipped? Is there a positive net UF in spite of the slow drains? Does his changing of positions during the night ever make this problem better or worse? What has the clinic done to check into this? Can he manually drain in a reasonable amount of time? Is he not receiving all of his treatment because of having to bypass phase? Is there a drain volume he gets up to easily before the slow-drain starts? What suggestions has the clinic offered? Have you considered calling the number on the cycler and speaking with their techs? Perhaps they can find a solution for this with your nurse?

The machine tells why the alarm goes off. If it is slow flow then the line could be pinched. My husband’s goes off for slow flow when he rolls onto the line. He has to readjust when that happens. If there is a inclusion he then stands up to clear up,

Hi, thanks for your reply. These are food for thought. There was another reason I read somewhere about the machine beeping - it said he may be dry during the day? Not sure what that meant…

yes that is the problem or constipation or ?? it just keeps going off all night and the poor guy cant get any sleep. Are there any peritoneal dialysis patients out there that have machines that actually let them sleep during the night?

There’s a type of setting for cycler PD where some fluid is left in the belly during the day. Ask your home training nurse if your husband could try “tidal peritoneal dialysis.” It can be tricky to prescribe, but it’s been found to reduce drain pain, decrease nighttime alarms, and help patients sleep better.