The Ins and the Outs of Vascular Access for Hemodialysis: Venous Catheters

March 21, 2018

By Margaret Holland, PA-C

Hemodialysis catheters. Have you seen one of these lately? Whether you work in the inpatient or outpatient setting, chances are that you encounter these venous access devices in your patients. Approximately 14 percent of the US population is affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD), with an estimated 468,000 individuals with kidney failure requiring dialysis. When hemodialysis is utilized to remove waste from the blood stream because the human kidneys have failed from disease or injury, there must be a means of connecting to a patient’s blood stream in order to cleanse the blood and then return it to the patient. The high flow that typically occurs through normal health kidneys must be mimicked with the dialysis machine, and therefore the type of vascular access that is used should allow as much blood as possible to be filtered during each treatment.


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