Surgery resident physician, Surgical Department, Nephrology Hospital “Carol Davila”, Bucharest, Romania
Assoc. Professor PhD, West University of Timișoara, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, Romania
Lect. PhD, Departament of General Surgery, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “V. Babeș” Timișoara, Romania
End stage renal disease (ESRD) represents a chronic medical condition that has become a public health problem and requires substantial funding. The number of patients with ESRD is rapidly increasing. From the moment that ESRD is diagnosed, the natural evolution of this pathology is towards mandatory dialysis, in absence of a renal transplant procedure. In order to perform hemodialysis, a vascular access site must be created and maintained functional. A proper vascular access site allows an adequate blood flow through the dialysis machine, in order to obtain the required results. The arterio-venous fistula represents the number one recommended vascular access site procedure. Establishing and maintaining a vascular access represents one of the biggest problems in hemodialysis. The arterio-venous fistula thus becomes the patient’s lifeline. Maintaining a good quality vascular access site is a demanding process and requires cooperation between both the patient and the health care providers. For ESRD patients there is a constant concern regarding the patency of their vascular access. The aim of this paper is to present the postoperative measures that ESRD patients should provide in order to preserve their vascular access. Also, we want to present the main signs of an early complication that patients should recognize and therefore immediately present themselves to the physician. By establishing this type of cooperation and trust between the patient and the medical staff we will be able to reduce the number of surgical procedures required for the creation and maintenance of the vascular access. Our final thought remains that a well-informed patient has better chances of prolonging his “lifeline”.
Keywords: ESRD , hemodialysis, vascular access maintenance, arterio-venous fistula