Caring for a patient with kidney problems is a responsibility that demands attention, compassion, and strict adherence to safety measures. Kidney diseases, such as chronic kidney disease (CKD) and acute kidney injury (AKI), can severely impact a person’s health. Any lapses in care can exacerbate the condition.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that chronic kidney disease is currently on the rise. Kidney-related issues, in general, are also increasing worldwide. Thus, for those tasked with caring for kidney patients, ensuring that they get the best possible care is becoming paramount.
To ensure the well-being of the patient and provide effective kidney care, it’s crucial to take these six safety precautions.
#1 Medication Management
Proper medication management is paramount when caring for kidney patients. Kidneys play a vital role in filtering waste products from the bloodstream, and many medications are metabolized and excreted through the kidneys. Therefore, it’s crucial to be vigilant about the medications prescribed to the patient.
Ensure that all medications are administered as prescribed, at the correct dosage, and on time. Monitor for any adverse reactions or side effects, as impaired kidney function can affect how drugs are processed by the body.
Moreover, be cautious with non-prescription medications and supplements. NSAIDs, in particular, can be harmful to kidney function. These anti-inflammatory drugs, therefore, should not be used for extended periods. When it comes to medication management, always consult the patient’s primary healthcare provider for guidance.
#2 Fluid Balance
According to MedlinePlus, maintaining proper fluid balance is absolutely essential for kidney patients. Depending on the severity of the disease, they may need to limit their fluid intake. Too much fluid retention often strains the kidneys and can cause various kidney complications. Conversely, insufficient fluid intake can result in dehydration, which may also harm kidney function.
To make sure that the patient’s fluid balance is optimal, monitor their daily fluid intake and output. Pay attention to their urine output, as this is a crucial indicator of kidney function. Collaborate with a registered dietitian or healthcare provider to develop a customized fluid management plan tailored to the patient’s specific needs.
#3 Implanted Vascular Access Device Precautions
Implanted vascular access device (VAD) care is crucial for patients requiring long-term intravenous therapies. To ensure the device functions optimally and minimizes complications, meticulous care is essential. This involves keeping the site clean and dry, monitoring for signs of infection, and changing dressings as needed. Regular flushing with sterile saline or heparin helps prevent clot formation.
Patients should avoid strenuous activities that may damage the VAD, and healthcare providers should ensure proper placement and function during routine check-ups. VAD care requires a collaborative effort between healthcare professionals and patients to maintain its functionality and reduce the risk of complications.
There’s also a need to be aware of defective VADs, something that was evident from the Bard PowerPort lawsuit. Bard PowerPort devices are used to provide caregivers access to the patient’s vascular system. These implanted port devices can then carry medicine into the bloodstream.
However, as TorHoerman Law reports, many Bard PowerPort device users have reported that their catheter failed which led to severe injuries. Many users reported that the defective PowerPorts caused blood clots and damage to veins and blood vessels. Thus, when using implanted VADs, caregivers need to ensure that they are free from any sort of defects.
#4 Dietary Restrictions
Patients with kidney disease often require dietary restrictions to prevent the accumulation of waste products in the bloodstream. High levels of certain substances, like potassium, phosphorus, and sodium, can be harmful to the kidneys.
Monitor the patient’s dietary choices closely, ensuring they adhere to the recommended restrictions. A renal dietitian can help create a meal plan that aligns with their nutritional needs while minimizing the strain on their kidneys. Remember that dietary adjustments may need to be adapted as the patient’s condition progresses, so regular consultations with healthcare professionals are crucial.
#5 Blood Pressure Management
As explained by WebMD, hypertension (high blood pressure) is a common complication of kidney disease and can accelerate its progression. Controlling blood pressure is crucial in managing kidney problems. Monitor the patient’s blood pressure regularly and follow the prescribed treatment plan to keep it within the target range.
Encourage the patient to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle, which includes a low-sodium diet, regular exercise, and stress management techniques. Compliance with blood pressure medications is essential, and any adverse effects or concerns should be promptly reported to the healthcare provider for adjustments.
#6 Regular Follow-up and Communication
Effective communication and regular follow-up with the patient’s healthcare team are cornerstones of kidney care. Kidney disease is a complex condition that may require frequent adjustments to the treatment plan. Ensure that the patient attends all scheduled medical appointments and tests, as these help monitor the disease and the effectiveness of the treatment.
Encourage the patient to actively participate in their care by asking questions and expressing their concerns. Be prepared to relay any changes or symptoms to the healthcare provider promptly. Open and transparent communication fosters a collaborative approach to kidney care, enhancing the patient’s overall well-being.
Caring for a patient with kidney problems demands unwavering attention to safety precautions. By meticulously adhering to these precautions, you and healthcare providers can optimize the patient’s quality of life and slow the progression of kidney disease. In doing so, it will be possible to promote better overall health and well-being for the patients.