The North American Research Consortium (NARC), an arm of the North American chapter of the International Society of Peritoneal Dialysis, is reviewing results from a 29-question survey about catheter insertion practices in the U.S. and Canada.

NARC was developed after a meeting of ISPD members at Vanderbilt University in summer 2013. Funding from Baxter Health Care was secured in February 2014 to complete NARC’s first study looking at catheter placement. The goals of the project are to quantify the variability in peritoneal dialysis catheter practices and outcomes in North American programs, identify key predictors of successful peritoneal dialysis catheter outcomes, and establish a sustainable framework for ongoing quality improvement relating to peritoneal dialysis catheter practices.

Approximately 40 sites from Canada and the United States participated in the survey, which revealed “a high variety of techniques being used in surgical suites,” to place peritoneal dialysis catheters, said Matt Oliver, MD, who presented initial findings from the surveys at the third annual symposium for the NAC ISPD during the Annual Dialysis Conference. The goal of the research is to review 1,000 catheter placements.

After the survey results were received, Oliver went back and asked questions among responders about details of the catheter placement. The research group wants to look at the relationship between the operator, who places the catheter, and the outcomes.

“We are also looking for ways to standardize outcomes” by reviewing peritonitis, tunnel infections, dysfunction of the catheter, exist site infections, leaks, etc., that is detailed in the survey. “One question is how we define the response ‘works very well’ for catheters,” said Oliver. The survey results showed over 90% of the responders used that language to define catheter performance.

More information and updates on the study are available at http://ispd.org/NAC/research