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Why Hypotension Occurs during Dialysis

2012-12-07 16:18

Hypotension is a common complication of hemodialysis. It is reported that up to 20 percent to 50 percent patients can experience low blood pressure sometime during dialysis. Severe drop of blood pressure may induce arrhythmia and make the patients discontinue dialysis.

There are multiple causes why a patient experience hypotension, but having any of the following conditions increases people’s risks of experiencing low blood pressure during dialysis:

﹡Being old-aged

﹡Having Diabetes

﹡Combined Autonomic Neuropathy

﹡Too much weight gain during dialysis


﹡Pericardial diseases

﹡Cardiac insufficiency

There are three conditions wherein the patients experience hypotension:

﹡Symptomatic hypotension:

In this case, hypotension usually occurs two hours after dialysis. The common symptoms include dizziness, weakness, pale face, sweating, yawning, etc. In severe cases, the patients experience shortness of breath, muscle cramps or transient unconsciousness.

﹡Chronic persistent hypotension

This happens in patients who have been on dialysis for long-term. The systolic pressure during dialysis is usually no more than 100mlmHg.

﹡Orthostatic hypotension

It usually occurs after dialysis and is related to sudden posture changes; in this case, the patients can soon recover themselves.

How to prevent hypotension during hemodialysis?

Patients who often experience hypotension are suggested to avoid eating anything during dialysis, and eating sufficient food in the meal before dialysis is advised. The patients are often tested for their blood plasma protein density, and if serum protein volume is low, more high-quality animal proteins should be supplemented. During dialysis, it is necessary that the health care provider closely observe the patients’ condition, and observe if the patient has any early signs of hypotension, such as yawning, stomachache, waist soreness, etc. Monitor blood pressure regularly during dialysis.

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