Prevention of Peritonitis in Peritoneal Dialysis

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Reducing the frequency of peritonitis for patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis (PD) continues to be a challenge. This review focuses on recent updates in catheter care and other patient factors that influence infection rates. An experienced nursing staff plays an important role in teaching proper PD technique to new patients, but nursing staff must be cognizant of each patient's unique educational needs. Over time, many patients become less adherent to proper dialysis technique, such as washing hands or wearing a mask. This behavior is associated with higher risk of peritonitis and is modifiable with re-training. Prophylactic antibiotics before PD catheter placement can decrease the infection risk immediately after catheter placement. In addition, some studies suggest that prophylaxis against fungal superinfection after antibiotic exposure is effective in reducing fungal peritonitis, although larger randomized studies are needed before this practice can be recommended for all patients. Over time, exit site and nasal colonization with pathogenic organisms can lead to exit-site infections and peritonitis. For patients with Staphylococcus aureus colonization, exit-site prophylaxis with either mupirocin or gentamicin cream reduces clinical infection with this organism. Although there are limited data for support, antibiotic prophylaxis before gastrointestinal, gynecologic, or dental procedures may also help reduce the risk of peritonitis.

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