pump speeds and clearance rates

My husband has recently started dialysis, coming up to his third month now. His clearance rate is only 67% up from 65% last month. At the beginning of the month we were asked if we would accept a larger needle or four hours instead of three and a half. We opted for the bigger needle. The idea was to put him on at a pump speed of 350 but this has only happened three times in the past month and only happens when one of two nurses puts him on to the machine. All of the others put him on at 300 and when I ask why I am 'reassured' that pump speed does not matter. I am sorry to say that I do not believe this and feel that it is more for a quiet life or lack of confidence. Am I being paranoid? How do clearance rates improve if not by pump speed acceleration. Thank you

4 Replies

  • The higher the pump speed the better clearance you get I've been on haemodialysis for two years and my pump speed is 400 my clearance is about 87 I asked one of the nurses the other day she said you can go up to about 450 but it depends how strong your vessels are hope this helps

  • My suggestion to what seems to be a problem with communication between nurses would be to ask the member of staff in charge to make all nursing staff that your husband feels better using the larger needle to give him the higher pump rate. Any problems your husband has with his treatment should be referred to this person and/or his consultant. I hope this helps.

  • There are several things that affect the amount of blood cleared

    Dialyser size and pump speed are the main

    With needle size and dialysate flow rate being other factors

    How much dialysis is needed to give good clearance and blood results also depends on body mass and any existing kidney function

    Do discuss this with staff and if it cant be resolved then an appointment with the consultant might be in order

  • My mother's pump speed has been 500 (which is the highest rate for the machine) for a while and she feels lousy. Almost as if it is pumping too fast for her heart, but her nurse refuses to lower the speed.

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