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      The Hemodialysis Access: Preferences and Concerns of Patients, Dialysis Nurses and Technicians, and Physicians

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          One hundred twenty-eight hemodialysis patients and 64 medical personnel consisting of dialysis nurses and technicians, hemodialysis access surgeons and nephrologists were surveyed about their preferences and concerns in regard to the hemodialysis vascular access. The access preferred by physicians was the A-V fistula in the lower arm. In contrast, the access preferred by dialysis nurses and technicians was the polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) graft in the lower arm. Patients desired a superficial access in the forearm which was easy to cannulate, had minimal effect on their appearance, provided quick hemostasis after dialysis and enabled arm comfort during dialysis. Physicians felt the most significant concerns about the access were thrombosis and infection. Nurses and technicians ranked difficult cannulation and insufficient access blood flows that prohibited dialysis adequacy as their major problems. For patients the most common problem was pain during needle insertion. This survey concluded that the A-V fistula remains the access of choice. However, appropriate maturation of the fistula must occur before needle insertion is attempted. An immature fistula is difficult to cannulate, has fragile veins resulting in blood leakage around the needle infiltrating the subcutaneous tissues and has inadequate blood flows for successful dialysis. Patients who are introduced to dialysis with inadequate access function or access failure from either an A-V fistula or a PTFE graft have increased morbidity, inadequate dialysis and enhanced anxiety about dialysis treatments. To increase the success and acceptance of A-V fistulas in hemodialysis patients it is incumbent upon the nephrologist to protect the future access arm from damage to the vasculature and to allow for fistula maturation before cannulation. Surgical protocols must improve the appropriate selection of a fistula or PTFE graft for various age groups and disease categories. Better patient preparation and selection of the proper access type for each patient will enhance early access function and subsequent access survival.

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          Author and article information

          Am J Nephrol
          American Journal of Nephrology
          S. Karger AG
          October 1998
          10 September 1998
          : 18
          : 5
          : 379-383
          Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
          13380 Am J Nephrol 1998;18:379–383
          © 1998 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          Page count
          Figures: 7, Tables: 1, References: 3, Pages: 5
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