Healthy kidneys remove waste products from blood. When kidneys fail, patients need dialysis treatments three times a week for three-four hour sessions to cleanse their blood. Reasons such as season change, lack of warm attire, sitting under an air conditioning and sometimes a physical or medical condition are reasons why temperatures in dialysis centers tend to run on the cold side.
Below are some possible reasons and tips on how to make treatments more comfortable:
- Skin Exposure: during treatments, most patients need to roll up their sleeves or pants in order for their access to be utilized for treatment and for the health care providers to have a clear view or the site to make sure everything is okay. This exposure may cause the patient to feel cold especially when you remain seated in the same place for a long time.
- Air-Conditioning Vents: Sometimes, sitting directly under an air-conditioning vent could be a reason as to why a dialysis patient is cold during treatments.
- Blood Temperature: During hemo dialysis, a patient’s blood is sent through a dialyzer which filters out waste and toxins, after which the clean blood is recycled back into the patient’s body. When the blood is outside of the patient’s body, it becomes cool, but could however warm up again. Temperatures of the dialysate solution, as well as a patient’s body temperature are taken into consideration during treatment; hence the dialysis machine is programmed to monitor dialysate temperature to make sure it is in the correct temperature range. Slight differences in temperature may occur during treatment which causes most patients to feel cold.
- Medical Condition: medical conditions such as anemia, which is common to most dialysis patients, does not only make you feel tired but could also make you feel cold. In dialysis patients, anemia is as a result of fewer red blood cells which carry oxygen through the body; hence patients are unable to produce enough heat in their bodies. Also, some patients suffer from iron deficiency which could cause one to feel chilly.
- Comfortable for Health Care Team: Due to almost continuous movement of the health care team monitoring dialysis treatments, the activity makes them warm, hence the need for them to keep the temperature at a lower level in order to be comfortable. On the other hand, dialysis patients do not move, and have to sit for 3-4 hours during treatments, causing them to feel cold more.
- Weather Conflict: Naturally, people dress warm during the summertime, and dialysis patients are no different. Patients sometimes may dress for warm weather temperatures and go in for treatments only to be faced with the cold reality of the dialysis clinic.