Merck Manual

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Some Common Complications of Hemodialysis

Some Common Complications of Hemodialysis

Complication

Usual Cause

Bacteria or fever-causing substances (pyrogens) in the bloodstream

Overheated dialysate

Allergy to a substance in the dialyzer or the tubing that carries blood or to drugs given during dialysis

Removal of too much fluid

Abnormal levels of potassium and other substances in the blood

Low blood pressure

Air entering the tubing that carries blood

Bleeding in the intestine, brain, eyes, or abdomen

Use of too much heparin to prevent clotting in the dialyzer

Bacteria entering the bloodstream through a needle inserted into veins for hemodialysis access

Possibly rapid changes in the amount or distribution of body fluids or salts