Peritonitis is an infection of the lining of the belly (peritoneum). It causes pain and swelling inside the belly. It may also cause a fever. The infection can be serious and needs to be treated.
This type of infection can happen in people who use peritoneal dialysis (PD). PD uses a dialysis fluid and the lining of the belly to filter toxins from the blood. The fluid enters and leaves the belly through a soft tube, or catheter. The place where the catheter comes out of your body is the dialysis access. You may get peritonitis if the catheter is not sterile. You can also get it if the area around the access is not clean.
Your doctor will give you antibiotics to treat the infection. If you use PD and the infection is minor, the antibiotics may be added to the dialysis fluid. The doctor may give you a new access while the old one heals. Or you may start using hemodialysis instead of PD. Hemodialysis uses a machine instead of the lining of the belly to filter waste from the blood.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 20, 2017
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Brian O'Brien, MD, FRCPC - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD, FACP, FACG - Gastroenterology & William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
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