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Types of Vascular Access

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dialysis machine The vascular access is the site on the body where blood is removed and returned during dialysis. Ideally the access should be surgically created weeks or months before dialysis begins to minimize complications and to avoid the use of a central venous catheter if possible. 

Three kinds of vascular access for hemodialysis

The AV fistula is often considered to be the best long-term vascular access for hemodialysis because it provides adequate blood flow, lasts a long time, and has a lower complication rate than other types of access. 

If an AV fistula cannot be created or has failed, an AV graft should be considered. A central venous catheter may be needed for patients who need urgent dialysis or who are not suitable for an AV fistula or AV graft. Central venous catheters are associated with increased complications and increased risk of hospitalization and death.