Managing cramps during haemodialysis

Haemodialysis 5

 

Patients may complain of cramp at varying times during their dialysis session. Mostly cramps is felt in the lower calf muscles but it is not uncommon for cramping pain to be felt in hands, feet, abdomen etc. This can vary from mild to extreme pain and muscle spam.

Causes (these are often multifactorial but commonly):

  1. Excessive fluid removal due to large interdialytic fluid gains and incorrect dry weight
  2. Poor circulation-unable to adequately perfuse extremities

 

Sign and symptoms of physiological complication secondary to rate of fluid removal:

  • Often the patients recognises no symptoms
  • Gradual hypotension during dialysis session
  • Yawning
  • Muscle tightening and cramps
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