Patients on dialysis are exposed to large amounts of water during conventional intermittent hemodialysis; hence, there are strict regulations regarding the quality of water used to prepare dialysate. Occasionally, water systems fail due to natural disasters or structural supply issues, such as water-main breaks or unplanned changes in municipal or facility water quality. It is critical to regularly monitor and immediately recognize such a failure and take steps to avoid exposing the patients to contaminants. In addition to the recognition of the problem, the ability to pivot and continue to provide safe treatment to inpatients who are dependent on dialysis is essential, both from an ultrafiltration and a clearance standpoint. At our hospital, an unforeseen water disruption occurred and we were able to continue to provide KRT with premade, bagged dialysate to mitigate the effect on our patients on dialysis. This is a novel method using available machines and dialysate, which we normally stock for continuous KRT, for short dialysis sessions. The methodology is similar to that which has been widely used for short daily home hemodialysis with low dialysate flow rate. Because this situation occurred in the midst of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, we had to be mindful of dialysate volumes and staffing time. Here, we present our investigation into the cause of the water-system failure and how we quickly implemented the alternative dialysis method. Short dialysis with low-flow dialysate will not deliver the same Kt/V per session as standard dialysis; however, this method was successfully implemented and tailored with adjustments for patients requiring higher clearance for specific indications, such as severe hyperkalemia.
Keywords: acute dialysis; acute hospital; dialysis; dialysis solutions; patient safety; pre-mixed dialysate; water quality for dialysis; water supply.
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