A well-functioning vascular access is essential for performing effective hemodialysis. Hemodialysis, or kidney dialysis, is a blood purification procedure. A person with end-stage kidney disease relies on dialysis to mechanically remove fluids, electrolytes and waste products from their blood. Nearly 500,000 people in the United States depend on dialysis to keep their blood free of toxins each year.
What is vascular access?
Vascular access is a surgically created vein that quickly and easily accesses a person’s blood. This access point allows large amounts of blood to flow continuously from the body through a dialysis machine for purification and back to the body.
Proper management of a vascular access
You can avoid complications like infection, stenosis, thrombosis and hemorrhage through proper management of your vascular access point. Here are a few tips:
- Make sure the dialysis needle stick locations are rotated to prevent stenosis and thrombosis (deep vein blood clots) from forming.
- Confirm the vascular access is functioning properly several times per day. Our skilled specialists will show you how it is supposed to react.
- Look for any bleeding following dialysis treatment.
- Watch for signs of infection around the access point.
- Keep the vascular access and surrounding skin clean and dry.
- Avoid any tight-fitting clothing or jewelry to ensure medical professionals can access the site easily.
- Do not use any creams or lotions on the vascular access site.
Vascular access should be established well in advance of your first dialysis to give the lifeline a chance to mature, so it can be ready to use. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with kidney disease, contact South Texas Renal Care Group at 210-212-8622 to schedule an appointment.