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Inaccurate Weights before Dialysis: 4 Important Things You Should Know


Failing kidneys cannot perform the usual task of removing enough fluid from the body and it is dialysis that takes on this task. Complications may occur if there is an unusual accumulation of fluids in the body between the dialysis sessions. Patients are therefore weighed before and after the dialysis session and also asked to monitor their weight at home on a daily basis. If there is an unusual increase in weight between the dialysis sessions, the patients must contact their medical practitioners immediately.

How to Avoid Inaccurate Weights?

Dry weight is the weight of the patient when there is no accumulation of excess fluid in the body. Each patient is weighed before and after the dialysis session. This monitoring of weight helps the healthcare professional to decide how much fluid needs to be removed from the body.

There are lot of precautions that need to be taken before weighing a patient at the beginning of a dialysis session as the patient maybe weighed wrongly leading to the removal of excess or a lesser amount of fluid from the body than necessary. Therefore, it is very important for the patient as well as the dialysis treatment center team to maintain a regular record of the patient’s weight.

Below are some of the important points you should follow:

*. It is important to ensure that the patient wears similar clothing while coming to dialysis. If on one day, the patient comes in for a dialysis session with a heavy sweater or a jersey and on another day, he comes in with casual clothing like a t-shirt and jeans than his body weight is bound to vary extensively. It is also important to remove any extra objects that the patient maybe carrying on his/her person, for example, a wallet, coins, keys etc.

*. Weight may also vary if there is a change in the kind of footwear that a patient wears. A patient may come in for treatment in a pair of boots on one day and decide to wear sandals on another day. So this will definitely cause the patient to weigh lesser on the subsequent day. This error may be avoided by weighing the patient without footwear before every dialysis session.

*. If the patient is wheelchair-bound it is very important to ensure that all the wheels of the wheelchair are placed on the weighing machine and the wheelchair is free of any extra objects such as carry bags, food packets, water bottles etc.

*. When the patient weighs himself/herself at home every day, he/she must be instructed to keep the weighing machine on a flat surface in a non-carpeted area. The patient should ensure that the weighing machine is at zero before stepping on it and it is best to check weight at the same time every day.

Post the dialysis session, if the patient has achieved the ideal dry weight, his/ her blood pressure will be normal, the patient breathes normally, and there is no swelling in hands or feet.

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Stories by Jean George