OPTIMIZING ACCESS CARE
AV Fistula & Graft
Here are a few simple guidelines to help your fistula or graft last a lifetime:
Checking for buzzing (thrill or bruit):
Put your fingers over the vein where the arterial and venous flow of blood meet (on the extremity that has the access) and feel for a pulse. The pulsation that you feel is called thrill. Place the ear plugs of your stethoscope in your ears and place the metal disc of the stethoscope at the point on your vein where the arterial and venous flow come together and create turbulence. A rhythmic swishing sound can be heard which is called a bruit (broo-ee) and is created by the shunting of high pressure arterial blood into a low pressure vein. If you do not feel a thrill or hear a bruit, or if there is a decrease in the intensity of pulsation of sound, report it immediately to your physician or nurse.
Checking for signs of infection:
Follow these steps in caring for your catheter:
*Wash your hands often
*Try not to touch the catheter
*Don’t let anything rub or pull on the catheter
*Tell your nurse if you notice signs of infection
*Keep your catheter site and dressing clean and dry
*Check with your physician if you need longer treatment.