Dialysis patients can participate in a wide range of sports and activities. Regular exercise and physical activity increase patients' sense of well-being, decrease fatigue, improve depression, lower blood pressure, and improve blood sugar control in diabetic patients.
Hemodialysis patients with catheters cannot get their catheter wet because of the risks of infection. These patients should not participate in swimming and water sports.
Hemodiaylis patients with fistulas and grafts can swim and get their access wet.
Peritoneal dialysis patients can swim in in the ocean or a private pool. Public pools may have a higher bacteria count in the water and are not advised. After swimming, patients on peritoneal dialysis should perform their exit site care. The peritoneal dialysis catheter should be securely taped to the abdomen during swimming or exercise to prevent irritation of the access site.
If you must go swimming, remember these points:
1. Your exit site must be completely healed before swimming
2. As soon as you are finished swimming, change into dry clothes and redo your exit site care.
3. Never swim in a lake, pond, river or non-chlorinated pool. DO NOT use hot tubs. These bodies of warm water contain germs that can cause infections.
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