Dialysis is a treatment for patients with kidney failure that completes the functions that healthy kidneys normally perform. This includes regulating the levels of particular chemicals in the blood and removing waste. Statistics show that more than 700,000 Americans have kidney dialysis and are on dialysis. To undertake dialysis, you need dialysis access to allow blood to circulate through the dialysis machine for cleaning. If you have been diagnosed with kidney failure, Evergreen Park dialysis access creation and management can be vital to your care. Here are some key facts you need to know about dialysis access.
There Are Different Types of Vascular Access
The common types of vascular access include; arteriovenous fistula, graft, and catheter. Arteriovenous fistula, often known as just fistula, is made by surgically joining a vein and an artery under the skin on your arm. Fistula needs to take place about six months before you start dialysis and is mostly preferred as it is more durable with less risk for infection.
On the other hand, a graft involves surgically using a piece of an artificial tube to join your artery to your vein. A graft heals in about one month, so it’s a good option if you need dialysis soon. A catheter involves placing a soft tube in a large vein, normally in the chest or neck. However, this is just temporary access, as it can result in stenosis or blood vessel damage.
Proper Care Is Vital for Dialysis Access
Your doctor or dialysis team will teach you how to care for your dialysis access. Following these instructions is essential in thwarting infection and protecting your access. With grafts and fistulas, you should wash them with antibacterial soap daily. This is particularly essential before dialysis sessions. Also, don’t pick or scratch the skin at the access site. Check the access daily for warmth, redness, or signs of infection.
With catheters, keeping the area and dressings dry and clean is recommended. The area should be cleaned, and the dressing changed during every dialysis session. Ensure to take home proper dressing supplies in case you require to change them between sessions.
Some Steps Can Help Keep Your Dialysis Access Functioning Properly
Several care tips can ensure your access functions properly. Some of these instructions include; checking your blood flow several times daily by feeling for vibration and ensuring that blood is not drawn from your access arm. Also, avoid putting pressure on the access by not wearing tight clothing or jewelry on the access arm, not carrying heavy objects, and not sleeping with your body resting on your access arm.
Ultimately, if you have a chronic kidney condition, you can’t afford to delay getting dialysis access. Selecting the right dialysis access care management will make a significant difference. Also, it is important to understand when to consider seeking care for your dialysis access. You should see your doctor or visit the dialysis center if you can’t feel the blood flowing in your access during your daily checks. This should also be the case if your breakthrough bleeding lasts over thirty minutes after dialysis. If your dialysis access has signs of clotting or infection, consult your doctor immediately.