First Use Syndrome

I have never seen “First Use Syndrome” firsthand, but it usually comes up as a topic when discussing “Complications of Dialysis.”

It refers to a severe IgE-mediated anaphylactoid reaction which occurs during the first use of a dialyzer, felt to be due to the chemical ethylene oxide, which is used as a sterilizing agent during dialysis manufacture. Patients may experience wheezing, shortness of breath, and even hypotension as a result. This may also be referred to as “bio-incompatibility” with the dialysis membrane.

It is a more rare event these days–due to numerous reasons–a better routine of cleansing the dialyzer beforehand and the increased use of re-using dialyzers being some potential reasons for this.

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