By Dr Farooq Ahmad Ganie
Vascular access is the lifeline of patients who are on haemodialysis and it is immensely important to take care of this access.
A vascular access is a surgically created vein used to remove and return blood during hemodialysis which is called arteriovenous (AV) fistula (AVF) this arteriovenous (AV) fistula is a connection, made by a vascular surgeon, of an artery to a vein.
Health care providers recommend an AV fistula over the other types of access because it – provides good blood flow for dialysis – lasts longer than other types of access – is less likely to get infected or cause blood clots than other types of access
How does a patient care and protect a vascular access?
By keeping the access clean at all times
Using the access site only for dialysis
Be careful not to bump or cut the access
Not letting anyone put a blood pressure cuff on the access arm
By not wearing jewelry or tight clothes over the access site
By not sleeping with the access arm under the head or body
By not lifting heavy objects or putting pressure on the access arm
By checking the thrill in the access every day (The thrill is the rhythmic vibration a person can feel over the vascular access) if absent report immediately to your treating doctor.
Ensure that the health care provider checks the access for signs of infection or problems with blood flow before each hemodialysis session.
Watch for and reporting signs which includes redness, tenderness, discharge or discoloration. Report immediately to your treating doctor in case of any such signs.
Apply the gauze dressing over the needle site. Take care of the pressure applied near needle puncture to properly clot the needle tract and not the fistula.
(The Author Is Assistant Professor Department Of Cardiovascular And Thoracic Surgery SKIMS Soura)