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Vascular Access

What is Vascular Access?

A vascular access is a way to get to your blood so it can be “cleaned” and have extra fluid removed by

What are the Types of Vascular Access?

  • Fistula (ArterioVenous Fistula or (AVF)
  • Central line or catheter
    • a) Temporary or Non-tunnelled
    • b) Tunnelled or Permanent

Why is a Fistula the Best Choice?

  • It performs the best.
  • It lasts the longest.
  • It has fewer complications (infections).
  • It requires fewer hospitalizations.
  • It puts fewer restrictions on your lifestyle

Things to consider.

  • Takes at least two to four months to become strong enough to use.
  • It may not work and require another one to be created.
  • Requires needling every treatment.
  • Over time, a fistula may require procedures to keep it working.
  • The arm/fistula must be protected to prevent damaging the fistula.

What are Grafts?

The joining of an artery and vein using a soft plastic tubing under the skin. It is used in much the same way as a fistula except the needles are placed into the graft tubing rather than the vein.

Why are grafts the next best choice?

  • It may be an option for patients who are not able to have a fistula.
  • It performs well.
  • It is easy to insert needles into.
  • It is ready to use in only 2-3 weeks.

Things to consider.

  • More likely to get infected than a fistula.
  • More likely to clot than a fistula.
  • May require more procedures to keep working than a fistula.

Why are Central Lines the Last Choice?

  • Greater risk of serious infection.
  • More admissions to hospital.
  • Do not work as well as a fistula to remove wastes & fluid from your blood.
  • Often requires procedures to keep it working.
  • May cause narrowing or scarring of the veins it is in.
  • Must be kept clean & dry.
  • May need to be replaced if stops working.

Are there benefits to central lines?

  • It can be used right
  • No needles.
  • Can be used until a
    fistula or graft is ready
    to be used.



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