Formaldehyde is used in many different types of applications, including in the use of dialysis equipment. This chemical is used in both the processing of dialyzers and dialysate lines after use on a patient.
However, the presence of formaldehyde after rising can be extremely hazardous to patients. The presence of formaldehyde in the body can cause a reaction with the red blood cells that results in the formation of anti-N antibodies. When these antibodies form, they can result in renal failure.
To address this issue, dialysis centers, and treatment facilities typically complete formaldehyde testing to ensure that the level of residual formaldehyde in the equipment is below a minimal level. The AAMI (Association for Advancement of Medical Instrumentation) sets forth the recommendation that the safe level for patients is below 3 ppm (parts per million).
One of the easiest and most effective ways to quickly yet accurately complete formaldehyde testing is to use test strips. These are pre-formulated with a treated end to the strip. Due to the nature of the chemicals used in the indicator pad, these strips have to be stored refrigerated and in the original bottle.
It will be critical to ensure the lid is tightly closed on the test strip bottle. Never remove the formaldehyde testing from the temperature controlled storage area until the test to be performed.
The test is simple to do, just remove the strip, avoiding all contact with the indicator pad and place it down on a flat surface. Add one drop of the rinse water to be tested and time for exactly two minutes. At this time, touch a paper towel to the side of the indicator pad to draw off the liquid.
The indicator pad will change colors based on the amount of formaldehyde in the liquids. This will clearly indicate if the concentration is above or below the safe level of 3 ppm.