In order to protect your current or future fistula arm, you should consider getting a KidneyBuzz.com "No BP/No Stick" Medical Alert Bracelet. When Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients are being attended to, for example visiting the hospital for an emergency or check-ups, nurses may attempt to do needle work (draw blood, IV, injections, etc.) and take blood pressure on their current or potential fistula arm. When awake you may be able to prevent this, but who knows if your fistula arm is used while you are unconscious due to an anesthetic or while sleeping.
Sometimes a wristband is put on your arm but unless the nurse closely looks at it s/he cannot tell what it says. Though it may be difficult to believe, many hemodialysis patients lose their fistula thrill because a nurse accidentally placed a blood pressure cuff or drew blood from their wrong arm, even when appropriately labeled with a traditional hospital wristband. Also, by placing an IV or having your blood drawn can damage your veins, making it much more difficult to create a workable fistula. Even if you are currently in earlier stages of CKD, conducting Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) or have already received a transplant it is critically important to protect your arm's blood vessels in the event your kidneys stop working or you are not able to continue PD and need a fistula in the future.
If your arm is stuck with a needle incorrectly or a blood pressure cuff is applied, you may damage your veins and make it difficult to create and near impossible to maintain a fistula. The problem is that the medical treatment system is imperfect and warning signs are often ineffective because of poor communication, knowledge deficits, patients being unaware, and desensitized medical professionals who are bombarded with multiple similar looking wristbands every day.
Recommended Reading: CKD on Dialysis should make checking Fistula "Buzz" a Daily Practice
KidneyBuzz.com deliberately made these attractive, $5.00 "No BP/No Stick" Medical Alert Bracelets to be more affordable for CKD patients when functionally compared to the metal bracelets going for $29.00 to $99.00. We encourage their purchase to protect your fistula arm as well as support KidneyBuzz.com in its self-funded mission of providing useful and usable information to the CKD Community in real-time. KidneyBuzz.com also recommends that whenever you are admitted to a hospital you should attempt to talk to your nursing coordinator on the floor so that s/he is aware of your fistula and ask that your care team be informed.