Why does a patient need dialysis?

When a patient’s kidneys fail, they need a way to cleanse their blood. This is done through dialysis. If the blood is not filtered, chemicals such as potassium and phosphorus can increase to unsafe levels.


What options are there for dialysis access?

There are four options for access:

  • AV fistula –This procedure uses a section of a vein from your arm or leg sewn into an artery. This procedure carries the lowest risk of infection.
  • AV graft – Similar to the AV fistula, this uses an artificial graft to connect to an artery.
  • Peritoneal dialysis – This allows for dialysis at home through a small tube in your abdomen. It requires daily blood changes via the tube and carries both a risk of infections and the potential of a clogged tube.
  • Tunneled catheter – This is a temporary measure and carries a high risk of infection.