For a patient whose kidneys have failed, venous access, or access to the blood system, must be established and maintained for dialysis treatments. Placement of a chronic dialysis catheter (CDC) can provide this access. CDCs have an opening (arterial port) for blood flow out of the body and another opening (venous port) for blood return after it flows through the dialysis machine. These catheters are usually inserted in the chest or neck.
Why do I need a dialysis catheter?
Normally, our kidneys filter waste from our blood. When your kidneys are not functioning properly, these harmful wastes build up. A dialysis machine can be used to help cleanse these wastes from your blood. Your Vaxcel® Plus Dialysis Catheter is used to connect you to this dialysis machine.
The catheter is a hollow, soft tube that has two openings or lumens – one lumen to send your blood to the dialysis machine and the other to return the cleansed blood back to your body. Each lumen has a clamp and a cap. The clamp is kept closed and the cap is on whenever the catheter is not being used.
How is the Vaxcel® Plus Dialysis Catheter inserted?
The Vaxcel® Plus Dialysis Catheter is inserted into a blood vessel called a vein that directs blood back to your heart. Most often, a vein in the neck or chest is chosen, but your doctor will decide what is best for you.
One end of the catheter will be inserted through your skin into the vein. The rest of the catheter will be formed into a curve and placed under your skin in what is called the tunnel. Where the catheter comes out of your skin is called the exit site.
Under your skin near the exit site, you may feel a small bump on the catheter in the tunnel. This is called the catheter cuff, which helps to hold your catheter in place.
How is the Vaxcel® Plus Dialysis Catheter used?
Once your catheter is in place, you should be able to begin dialysis treatments. Each time you go for your dialysis treatments, the nurse should clean the end (called the hub) of both catheter lumens. Your nurse will inject a solution to flush your catheter and then will connect each lumen to the dialysis machine. One lumen will send your blood to the machine and the other will return it to your body. Dialysis treatments can take three to four hours to complete.
National Kidney Foundation is a registered trademark of National Kidney Foundation Corporation.