Question about Dialysis machine malfunction?

  1. What happens when a patient is in the middle of hemodialysis treatment and the machine breaks down.

    What is the standard procedure?

    What are the risk to the patient?

    What if there are no techs available to fix the machine?

    I am a nursing student and we just had a clinical day in dialysis. I was just kind of curious about what the nurse would do? Thanks so much for contributing to my education...:smilecoffeeIlovecof
  2. Visit gin2425 profile page

    About gin2425

    Joined: Oct '05; Posts: 13
    Nursing student


  3. by   traumaRUs
    I'm an advanced practice RN working in two chronic outpatient dialysis units. We have recently had "water" problems in one unit and on two days, we had instances where we were not able to "rinse back" our patients. In essence, we just disconnected them, manually flushed their lines and out the door they went.

    We have also had a recent power outage and the machines are able to be manually "pumped" so that the patients can be "rinsed back". This saves their blood and results in better care.

    We do not fix any dialysis machines in the unit - they go to biomed.
  4. by   penem10
    Assess the situation, a blood leak is a serious issue and do not rinse the patient's blood back. Restring and initiate dialysis again.

    In any other situations, try to rinse the patients blood back, dialysis patients need every once of blood they have. This can be done manually by hand if need be.

    If the machine malfunction is jepordizing their prescribed treatment, then you need to pull that machine and give the patient another one. You must follow the prescribed treatment by the MD.

    If the machine is operating in bypass, the patient is not getting their prescribed treatment.

    Every situation is different and needs to be assessed on that basis.

    Your unit should have back up machines available stand at the ready and have already gone through test mode.

    Hope this helps
    Robin A Clark RN, CDN