Hemodialysis access: A guide for caregivers and patients

Donna Merrill, Deborah Brouwer, Patricia Briones

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


As kidney failure progresses to stage S chronic kidney disease, renal replacement therapy becomes a necessity, with the options being hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, or renal transplantation. When hemodialysis is chosen, some type of vascular access (VA) must be planned. Traditionally, minimal to no teaching is provided for most patients regarding VA, and only a few patients understand how their VA works, what type of access is best for them, and what kinds of problems can occur with each type. Since VA is considered the patient's "lifeline," it makes sense that more attention should be focused on providing information that would help end-stage renal disease patients make better decisions both in choosing the type of VA and maintaining a healthy access. Historically, nephrology nurses have been at the forefront in providing teaching regarding nephrology issues in general. Recent data have demonstrated that nephrology nurses are taking a keen interest in VA-related issues in order to improve this aspect of care. This article focuses on the types of VA, their associated complications, and the related morbidity and mortality. In addition, patient teaching tools are provided in order to emphasize the critical components of care involved with each type of access.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-209+213
JournalDialysis and Transplantation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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