An alternative to CAPD is an automated kind of Peritoneal dialysis (APD) in which the dialysate solution is changed by a machine, at night, usually while you are asleep. This involves being attached to the machine for between 8-10 hours.
APD is designed to be simple and performed in your own bedroom - children have always been dialysed this way and now the machines are more friendly and simple. As you go to bed you load the machine with fluid and it then performs a number of cycles while you are asleep. The fluid is drained away into a large drainage bag for disposal. Most often the machine will give a last fill of fluid which stays inside the tummy until the next night when it is drained away. When you disconnect in the morning you will be left with the short capped off tube only.
Common questions are:
Will I be able to use the machine?
Yes, it has been designed to be safe and simple for patients to use. Training will be given so that you are happy with how to set up and disconnect and to trouble shoot most problems. The machine is small so that it will fit in the bedroom.
I am a restless sleeper, does that matter?
No, the machine is designed to cope with normal sleeping patterns so it will be fine. Remember that children have been dialysed this way for a long time.
Can I interrupt the treatment to visit the bathroom?
Yes, the machine will have a control to allow this kind of interruption.
What will I do if there is a problem?
You are not alone! Your renal unit will have a nurse on call to ring if there is a problem and the companies who make the machine also have 24 hour helplines to call for technical problems.
What will happen if there is a power cut or the machine breaks?
It will be alright to delay or miss a single night in this kind of emergency while the power is restored. A new machine will be available within 24 hours to allow dialysis to continue.