Many Hemodialysis patients find it difficult to control their bleeding after their treatment. While your fistula keeps you alive, it can also threaten your life if it begins to uncontrollably bleed. Ultimately, your fistula is a high flowing arterial pressurized vein just a few millimeters below your skin. A small tear or break can cause you to bleed to death in minutes. Even with the understood risk, dialysis patients must puncture their fistula at least three times a week and simply cover it with gauze and tape.
While some are comfortable with this, others suffer continued bleeding and unexpectedly bleed-out in their car, at home, in restaurants or other places after their treatment. This can cause severe blood loss and lead to hypotension (low blood pressure), dizziness, and threaten their lives. There are a few special tips to reduce your risk of bleeding-out.
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One factor that often contributes to excess bleeding is the amount of blood thinner (anticoagulant) that you are being administered. If you are noticing continued issues with significant bleeding after your dialysis treatment, you should talk to your Nephrologists about lowering your blood thinner dosage. Also , many Dialysis Technicians place a Band-Aid over their patients' access sites before applying the gauze and tape. This will provide you an extra layer of protection and help ensure that the right amount of continued pressure is placed on the site to stop the bleeding. However, many have warned against just using "special Band-Aids" without applying gauze.
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Some said they have used special gel foam to stop bleeding. You may also consider trying the small sponge-like 1" sphere ball, Super Stoppers by Pacifica. They boast, "The Super Stopper's density has proven to be effective in achieving hemostatis at the access site and replacing the more traditional tools such as folded sponges, SureSeal bandages, hemo-bands and clamps." You may have to order your own as most centers do not provide them.
While other patients prefer more traditional tools such as clamps, sports wrap has also been used successfully. Be sure to take enough time to apply the appropriate amount of pressure it takes to stop the bleeding. This may vary depending upon the amount of heparin you are on and how your needle was removed. Hence, take your time and do not just rush off the dialysis machine when your treatment time has ended.
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Therefore, you can prevent bleeding after dialysis by taking a few simple proactive steps. If you do bleed-out and you are unable to control it after 30 minutes you should call 911. In order to preserve your health, as well as your fistula, you must take immediate steps to control and stop your bleeding as soon as possible. Visit KidneyBuzz.com every day to improve your quality of life and get a Kidney Transplant sooner. Purchase a "No BP/No Stick" wristband to protect your fistula as well as support KidneyBuzz.com. Also, be on the lookout for our upcoming Recipe Collection to take your meal planning to a new level of effectiveness. Remember to SEIZE THE DAY!
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"Bleeding From Access After Dialysis." Http://www.virginia.edu/. University Of Virginia Health System.
"Dialysis, Fistulas and Fatal Haemorrhages." Http://bigdandme.wordpress.com/. Big D and
Me."Pacifica Super Stoppers Sterile Sponge Balls." Http://www.metromedicalonline.com/. Metro Medical.