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Caring for Your PD Catheter and Exit Site

Your healthcare provider will teach you how to care for your catheter and exit site. Good care is important to prevent infection. If an infection occurs, the catheter may have to be taken out. A new one will have to be put in at a later date.

During healing

Your skin will heal in a week or two. During this time, follow your healthcare provider's instructions. Don't get your catheter or exit site wet until your healthcare provider says you can.

After healing

  • Always scrub your hands for 20 seconds before and after touching your catheter.

  • Keep your catheter clean and covered.

  • Anchor or secure the catheter as instructed. Don't let clothes or things you carry rub or pull at it.

  • Always do exchanges in a clean place.

  • Never use a cloudy or leaking bag of dialysate.

  • Wear a mask while doing exchanges.

  • Don't swim in lakes or streams, rivers, or public pools. Also don't soak in baths, hot tubs, or jacuzzis. It's OK to go into the ocean or a chlorinated private pool.

  • Make sure all caretakers and healthcare providers clean their hands before and after caring for you or your catheter access and exit site. They should wash their hands with soap and water. Or they can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Closeup of man's hands washing with soap in sink.

Watching for problems

Call your healthcare provider if you have any of these problems:

  • Bleeding or draining from the exit site

  • Red, painful, or warm skin around the catheter

  • Fever of 100.4°F ( 38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Pain in your belly (abdomen)

  • Cloudy or bloody dialysate when it drains from your belly

  • Incomplete draining of dialysate

Important numbers

Write the names and numbers of your healthcare providers below. You need to know how to get in touch with them. Make sure you know how to reach them even after hours and on weekends and holidays.


Name ___________________ Phone ___________________


Name ___________________ Phone ___________________

Dialysis Center:

Name ___________________ Phone ___________________

Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Walead Latif MD
Date Last Reviewed: 4/1/2020
© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.