Catheter access for hemodialysis: an overview.
The provision of hemodialysis requires repeated, reliable access to the central circulatory system. Long-term hemodialysis has best been provided by arteriovenous fistulae and arteriovenous grafts. In recent years, more and more patients have been chronically dialyzed with tunneled dialysis catheters. These catheters, which were originally developed as a short-term bridge to permanent vascular access, have made up an increasing percentage of maintenance vascular access. While these catheters have the advantage of ease of placement and are immediately ready for use, they substantially increase the risk of bacteremia, stenosis of central veins, and even mortality.
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