What is hemodialysis?

Hemodialysis is a way to clean waste and excess fluid from your blood by a machine.

In hemodialysis, blood passes through tubes body to the dialyzer. The dialyzer is the machine filter.Inside the dialyzer waste and excess fluids are cleaned of blood. Then clean the blood and passes through another tube back to your body.

Who needs hemodialysis?

If your kidneys fail, you will need hemodialysis for their welfare. Hemodialysis is the most common type of dialysis. The other type of dialysis is peritoneal dialysis. Your nephrologist will help you decide which treatment is best for you.

What is vascular access?

For hemodialysis, the blood has to leave the body, be cleaned, and then come back and clean the body. The vascular access is the place in your body where the blood leaves your body and re-enter it. There are three types of vascular access:


This type of vascular access is also called arteriovenous fistula. To make a fistula, your doctor will have to do a little surgery. Surgery connects an artery and a vein in his arm. This allows you to receive hemodialysis.

Fistulas are the best type of access. They are less likely to have clots or infections. Many times, they last much longer than any other type of access. For hemodialysis, needles will be inserted into the fistula to remove the “dirty” blood and return blood “clean”. It may take 1 month to 4 months for the fistula is ready for hemodialysis. This is why you have to plan ahead. Talk to your doctor about your options nephrologist.


A graft is a special type of tube that connects an artery to a vein. The grafts are not as safe as fistulas. They are more likely to clot or get infected. During hemodialysis, needles will be inserted graft to remove the “dirty” blood and return blood “clean”.


A catheter is a tube that goes directly from the vein in your neck or leg. For hemodialysis, the machine is connected directly to this tube. Do not use needles, but catheters are more prone to problems with clotting and infection. Catheters are only recommended for emergencies and for short-term use.

How should I take care of my vascular access?

Your access allows you to receive the treatment they need for their welfare. It is very important to have very good care of your access, no matter what kind you have.

Care fistulas and grafts:

  • Keep the area clean.
  • Use access for hemodialysis only and not for other medical procedure.
  • Do not let him perform blood tests or blood pressure measurements in the arm where it has access.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing or jewelry over the access area.
  • Protect your access shocks and cuts.
  • Avoid heavy lifting.
  • Try not to sleep or lie on the access arm.
  • Make sure you know how they will be placed needles in your dialysis access.
  • Make sure the nurse hemodialysis access check whenever the treatment is done.
  • Nephrologist Tell your doctor immediately if fever or if you see swelling, redness, or any other change in their access.

To care for your catheter:

  • Make sure all clamps (parts that hold the catheter in place) are closed and all covers are tight.
  • Protect the area of ​​water and dirt as possible.
  • Keep clean, dry and covered area.
  • Clean and cover the area each time you receive treatment. (Make sure you know how to do this at home, if the dressing is wet or dirty between treatments).
  • Nephrologist Tell your doctor immediately if fever or if you see swelling, redness, or any other change in their access.

How long does hemodialysis?

Hemodialysis usually takes three to five hours each time. Most hemodialysis patients need two to three times a week. Your nephrologist will help you decide how long and how often must receive their hemodialysis sessions.

When regular schedule and start your treatment, unit staff will review your weight and some components of your blood to make sure you are getting enough dialysis. Your nephrologist may make changes to your treatment if necessary.

What I can do during hemodialysis?

During hemodialysis treatment, you will sit in a special chair. And you can among other things:

  • Talk to other patients.
  • Read a book.
  • Listen to music or a book on CD or MP3.
  • Play video games hand.
  • Crossword puzzles.
  • Write letters.
  • Sleep.

How do I need to change my diet?

Hemodialysis is not a cure. Dialysis does not work as well as a pair of healthy kidneys. Chemicals and liquids that come in food can build up between sessions.Much of this accumulation can be dangerous. A renal diet can help avoid other problems, so you should receive nutritional counseling.

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