How should I care for my access? [Dr. Spinowitz]

Q: How should I care for my access?

A: Proper care for the access starts with cleanliness. Washing the arm daily with soap and water is enough. You do not need harsh abrasives to make sure that you remove all of the bacteria from your skin. On dialysis days, we usually ask the patients to remove the dressings that are applied at an affiliated American Endovascular center a few hours after they get home. Removing the dialysis pressure dressings allows the skin to breathe and be cleaned properly. If there is still some bleeding when removing the dialysis, slight pressure on the access and on the areas that are bleeding with one finger should be enough to stop the bleeding. A small band-aid can then be placed afterwards. If there is excessive bleeding, that’s the first clue that there are difficulties at dialysis.

When patients present to us at an affiliated American Endovascular center, we go through the exam with them. We want our patients to realize what a normally functioning fistula should feel like, so that when there is dysfunction, they realize immediately that there is a problem. The patient is the first line of defense against fistula dysfunction. If there are difficulties, we recommend our patients to call immediately and make sure that we investigate what could be a problem at dialysis and within the access.

More videos from the interview with Dr. Spinowitz of the Queens Endovascular Center as he describes the details of Dialysis Access Management:

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