Once you have a dialysis fistula or graft, the dialysis access site becomes your “lifeline”, because in a long time you need it for your dialysis treatment. So it’s very important to protect your access to ensure the scheduled dialysis treatment. When you have a treatment, the nurse or technician will check the access site first. If the access site has blood flow problems or early signs of infection, the treatment will be terminated. When there is a buzzing or rushing feeling even you can feel a pulse in your dialysis access site that means the blood flow is adequate. If it’s not so, you must call your neurologist or the dialysis unit as soon as possible. Blooding problems such as clotting or infection are easier to treat if they are found early. Signs such as redness, swelling or warmth to the touch are the early signs of infection. Generally, you must keep the area around your site clean and dry. Daily care and monitor of the access site can keep your lifeline working as long as possible. It is helpful to eliminate problems, if you provide a little TLC to your dialysis access daily. Or this at least can help you avoid more dialysis complication.
What is TLC of dialysis access?
- T: touch You must touch the access site everyday to check pulse, temperature and tenderness.
- L: Look Look at your skin color, drainage or swelling.
- C: Care Care to keep your access site dry, clean and protected.
You must avoid resting on arm, heavy lifting, carrying. Also you must watch your weight, wear loose clothes and don’t wear tight jewelry. Pumping or cutting your access is also not allowed. Anyone who wants to take your blood pressure, draw blood or even putting an IV into your leg or arm is not allowed. In a word, in order to protect the lifeline, you must be careful to take care of your dialysis access site.