A patient is undergoing peritoneal dialysis when he develops a fever and abdominal pain and cramping. Which of the following actions should the nurse perform first?

 

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Correct

- Check the catheter site and the dialysate solution

- Document the patients temperature and administer acetaminophen

- Help the patient to change position and check the fluid

- Contact the physician and remove the catheter

Rationale

The patient is displaying signs of peritonitis, an infection in the abdominal cavity that is a potential complication associated with peritoneal dialysis. The nurse should first check the catheter site and the dialysate solution to look for other signs of infection, such as redness around the entrance site. Although the nurse will eventually need to document her findings and contact the physician if the patient has peritonitis, the nurse's first action is to check the patient.

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