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Tom Sharon
Strict sterile techniques are necessary to avoid infection


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How to reduce the chance of abdominal infection

With abdominal dialysis, infection comes from contamination. It may be unavoidable, but maintaining strict sterile technique in handling the tube substantially reduces the risk. The nurse has to provide dressing changes every eight hours to keep the insertion site as germ-free as possible. Additionally, he or she must treat this tube as a closed sterile system. That means that the crucial moments come every time the nurse opens the system to connect the abdominal tube to the infusion and drainage bags. Thus the nurse must cleanse the tube end with rubbing alcohol or another disinfectant before removing the cap.

In order to minimize the number of times the system is open, nurses will leave the tubing connected after the first dialysis session and simply change the bag each time. This way, the system is reopened only once in twenty-four hours to change the external tubing. You would be helping yourself or your loved one by asking the nurse to tell you what he or she is going to do to minimize the chance of infection. If you are told anything other than what was just described, call the nursing supervisor to observe the procedure.

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