Some patients do not realize that their AV Fistulas can be compromised with an infection. However, research is finding that Dialysis Access infections are on the rise regardless of Fistula placement - leading to Fistula Failure, Aneurysms, Infections (C. Diff., Sepsis, MRSA), Longer Dialysis Treatments due to Fistula Damage, and even Death. "Numerous reports implicate the Vascular Access in up to 48% to 73% of all bacteremias (presence of bacteria in the blood) in Hemodialysis patients," reported the Medical Journal, Kidney International. Try the following efforts to help prevent Dialysis Access-Related complications, infections, and failures:
Dialysis Patients' Rights Book: Make sure that you have a copy of your Dialysis Patients' Rights book. Do not be fooled, this book is not just a list of your rights as a Dialysis patient. It is a slim, easy-to-read (cover-to-cover in one sitting) guide that helps patients address many of the common factors leading to infections and other issues without ever having to be confrontational or threatened with being blacklisted from a Dialysis Center. Click here to order and learn more about the book as well as testimonials from other patients.
Wash Dialysis Arm: Many Dialysis patients may consider washing their Dialysis Arm as often as they wash their hands. When appropriate, after a hand washing, Chronic Kidney Disease patients with a Fistula may consider also washing their arm or wiping it with an alcohol swab to limit germs around the site. Dialysis Patients' Rights Book: Make sure that you have a copy of your Dialysis Patients' Rights book. Do not be fooled, this book is not just a list of your rights as a Dialysis patient. It is a slim, easy-to-read (cover-to-cover in one sitting) guide that helps patients address many of the common factors leading to infections and other issues without ever having to be confrontational or threatened with being blacklisted from a Dialysis Center. Click here to order and learn more about the book as well as testimonials from other patients.
Dialysis Arm Sleeve: In the light of the growing concern of Fistula Infections, KidneyBuzz.com has developed the leading Dialysis Arm Sleeve to act as a buffer against Rub Infections which patients can pick up from leaning on a counter-top, hugging a loved one, playing with pets or children, and more. The sleeve can cover the fistula in the upper or lower arm and is the best option for Hemodialysis patients to help limit serious complications from fistula infection.
Wear Gloves: Most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients check their AV Fistula thrill daily. Patients should always wash their hands and ideally wear gloves before touching the Fistula to avoid germs. What's more, when any Healthcare Professional (Nephrologist, Nurse, Patient Care Technician, etc.) attempts to touch the AV Fistula make sure that they have gloves on as well.
Keep Out Of The Reach Of Children: Whether it is your own children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or others it is hard to resist cuddling young kids. However, children can unintentionally carry a lot of germs and infect the Fistula. Patients should make sure that their Dialysis Arm is covered and/or out of reach of young children to help limit infections (click here). Some patients cut an old sock to cover their Dialysis Arm, but this can be very restrictive and also hold germs that can damage the AV Fistula. Hence, consider wearing long sleeve shirts and your Dialysis Arm Sleeve.
Pet Activity: Pets are wonderful companions for Dialysis patients and can help to lift their spirits. Yet, cats and dogs can scratch your AV Fistula Sites on accident and cause a life-threatening infection. Don't take your chances. Instead, avoid this all together by covering up when you are playing with your pets. After enjoying some playtime be sure to wash your Dialysis Arm to help eliminate germs.
Redness And Irritation: At the sign of any redness and irritation at or around your site, call your Nephrologist or go into Urgent Care. If there is an infection and you catch it early, then you can limit the damage it will do to your AV Fistula and personal well being.
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