An individual with healthy kidneys might urinate up to seven times a day. However, most people on dialysis make little to no urine because their kidneys no longer remove wastes from the body. Without urination, fluid builds up in the human body and causes weight gain, swelling, or shortness of breath. Hemodialysis filters the blood to eliminate excess fluid from your blood to get you to your dry weight. So, what is the importance of dialysis weight measurements for patient safety?
What’s Dry Weight?
Dry weight is your actual weight without the excess fluid buildup between dialysis treatments. It’s the lowest weight you can safely reach after dialysis without forming symptoms of low blood pressure like cramping, which can happen when you remove too much fluid. During dialysis, fluid is removed to return the patient to their dry weight when the treatment ends. Ideally, the purpose is to target a weight where a patient will typically be hydrated and feel comfortable.
In most cases, the dry weight is determined by your physician’s experience and input. In addition, your physician will order your dry weight depending on your weight when you have the following:
- Normal blood pressure
- A standard-size heart shadow on an x-ray
- Neck veins that aren’t distended
- No congestive heart failure or shortness of breath
Assessment of Dry Weight
Doctors should assess a patient’s dry weight every three to six weeks when they gain or lose weight. When adjusting the dry weight, the doctors should also consider other factors, such as urine output and swelling between treatments. Therefore, this is why dialysis weight measurements for patient safety are crucial.
Moreover, significant fluid gains between hemodialysis treatments can harm a person’s heart and lungs. Short-term effects of fluid include headaches, cramps at dialysis, and breathing difficulties. A patient’s efforts in reducing fluid intake can impact their immediate well-being and long-term health.
Unique Dialysis Medical Weighing System RD6600
Overall, it’s essential to perform dialysis weight measurements for patient safety because, through dialysis, patients may receive or lose a significant amount of fluid. Plus, weighing patients before and after dialysis will help signal any issues and potential complications. For data management, our LED display consists of a wall-mounted indicator that displays patient weight and a built-in printer for patient weight records.
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