– Dr. Rohit Agarwal and Dr. Gaurav Chauhan lead the campaign to educate kidney patients on fistula saving techniques –
Lucknow. In an initiative to educate patients on the importance of Saving the Fistula, BD-India launched the ‘Save the Fistula’ campaign in Lucknow with Dr. Rohit Agarwal and Dr. Gaurav Chauhan. Senior physicians advise kidney patients undergoing dialysis to protect the fistula and vascular access created during treatment for better patient care and clinical outcomes. Dr Rohit Agarwal, Lead Consultant, Intervention Radiology at Medanta Hospital, Lucknow, said, “Dialysis is a common treatment for people who have poor kidney function. Vascular access is important to the life of a hemodialysis patient because it facilitates the possibility of life-saving hemodialysis treatment.
It also has a significant impact on the morbidity and mortality of patients with end-stage disease. While in most cases, heart disease is the leading cause of death in patients with ESKD, the second most common and dangerous cause is infection of the vascular access. A dialysis machine removes toxins from the blood of people who have end-stage kidney disease. An arteriovenous (AV) fistula is a vascular access used to access the bloodstream during dialysis and is a means of connecting patients to a dialysis machine. Elaborating on the importance of AV fistula, Dr Gaurav Chauhan, Interventional Radiologist at Medanta Hospital, Lucknow said, “To undergo dialysis, a patient must first undergo a surgical procedure to create an access point for the machine and It should be durable enough. Many times we have to face dialysis treatment. This is where the AV fistula plays its role. Dialysis treatment begins by inserting two needles into the AV fistula.
A needle removes the blood and sends it to a machine, where it is filtered. The second needle allows the blood to return safely to the body. The AV fistula is therefore critical to the process of dialysis and a lifeline for kidney patients undergoing this treatment. It does not require permanent placement of foreign materials such as a graft or catheter required to create an AV graft. A fistula is less infection-prone than a catheter and less likely to cause clotting problems than a graft and provides good blood flow that can last for decades.
Emphasizing on the need to monitor and protect fistulas, Dr Aggarwal said, “Fistulas have to be properly taken care of to prevent any infection, which may hinder the dialysis process in patients. Once your AV fistula is sufficiently strong or mature to be used for hemodialysis, it is important that you keep it clean and maintain proper hygiene. Look for redness or swelling and pain around the fistula.
If you have a fever, it can also be a sign of infection.” “During dialysis, there is a need for smooth flow of blood through your AV fistula. To reduce the risk of blood clots, be careful not to put extra pressure on the area. Highly advanced endo vascular non-surgical or minimally invasive techniques are now employed to rescue the fistula. Hundreds of patients have benefited from a procedure called fistula angioplasty, where high pressure and drug-coated balloons are used to open the blockages, requiring only a small puncture in the skin. With our campaign ‘Save the Fistula’ we wish that patients are more aware of this topic to better manage their fistula,” says Dr. Chauhan. It is imperative for the patients undergoing hemo dialysis to be aware of these advanced techniques and a well maintained dialysis fistula certainly increases the life span and quality of life of such patients.