Dialysis is a way of replacing kidney function for people who have kidney failure. There are two common types of dialysis; haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis (Quantrill, 2001). Haemodialysis involves passing a patient’s blood through an artificial kidney where it is cleansed and waste products removed (Lai, 2009). Peritoneal Dialysis involves the use of a thin membrane called Peritoneum in the internal lining of the abdomen to act as an artificial abdomen. CAPD involves the continual draining of fluids into the peritoneal cavity; the fluids are allowed to absorb waste products for a few hours and then drained out.
CAPD can serve all people. In order for people to use it effectively, they have to be trained. Children, adults, people with handicaps such as blindness, learning disabilities, and amputations can all use CAPD (Quantrill, 2001).
The benefits of CAPD include the convenience that someone can do it by himself or herself. Patients can have more control of their schedule. The procedure can be done in about two days and since it is permanent, it can comfortably address the kidney failure problem for a several years (Lai, 2009). One does not need a special room to do it and a bedroom suffices for many people. After the procedure, one can safely resume a normal life and do chores such as bathing, exercising, walking and many more (Quantrill, 2001).
The biggest challenges of CAPD are infections (peritonitis) at the exit site. The exit site is the part of the abdomen through which the catheter comes out of the body. Some people also experience problems with the overnight dwell time. The dextrose present in the dialysis solution can reduce the efficiency of exchange when its gets absorbed into the body (Quantrill, 2001).
The commonest problem with CAPD is infection and patients practicing utmost hygiene and having regular check-ups by qualified medical personnel solve it. In future, the use of a cycler (a machine capable of carrying out dialysis) shall become common as an aid to CAPD.
Lai, K. N. (2009). A practical manual of renal medicine nephrology, dialysis, and transplantation. New Jersey: World Scientific.
Quantrill, S. J. (2001). Peritoneal tuberculosis in patients receiving continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, 16(5), 1024-1027.