Caring for Your PD Catheter and Exit Site

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

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 removed and a new one 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 wash your hands before 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 during doing exchanges.

  • Don't swim in lakes or streams, rivers, or public pools. Avoid soaking in baths, hot tubs, or jacuzzis. The ocean or chlorinated private pools are OK.

Watching for problems

Call your healthcare provider if you notice 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 abdomen

  • Incomplete drainage 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, even after hours and on weekends and holidays.


Name ___________________ Phone ___________________


Name ___________________ Phone ___________________

Dialysis Center:

Name ___________________ Phone ___________________