What is a Dialysis Catheter?
A dialysis catheter (also called a Vasc-Cath)is a catheter used for exchanging blood to and from the hemodialysis machine(Dialysis Machines) from the Patient. There bye the dialysis catheter contains two lumens a red one and a blue one, both accessing the veins. The red lumen withdraws blood from the Patient and carries it to the dialysis machine, while the blue lumen returns blood to the Patient (from the dialysis machine). Flow rates of dialysis catheters range between 200 to 500 ml/min. This type of catheter is mainly used in Intensive Care for Acute Kidney(Renal) Failure.
The catheter is placed in one of the large veins. A common site is the shoulder(subclavian vein), neck(jugular vein) or groin(femoral vein). The catheter is placed by puncturing the vein and the catheter is then advanced. After the catheter is inserted, a chest x-ray is taken to confirm the right position.
If a Patient requires long-term dialysis therapy, a chronic or long-term dialysis catheter will be inserted. Chronic catheters contain a dacron cuff that is tunneled beneath the skin approximately 3–8 cm. The tunnel is thought to add a barrier to infection.
Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please discuss them with the ICU nurses and doctors.
All Intensive Care interventions and procedures carry a degree of potential risk even when performed by skilled and experienced staff. Please discuss these issues with the medical and nursing staff who are caring for your loved one.
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