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To start hemodialysis (also called dialysis) right away, your doctor will insert a soft plastic tube into a vein. This tube will carry your blood to the dialysis machine. The tube is called a central venous catheter, or CV line. It will be your vascular access until your permanent access is ready to use.
If you have a kidney injury that can be healed, you may need dialysis only for a short time. But some people will need to have long-term dialysis. This includes people with chronic kidney disease.
If you need long-term dialysis, it can take weeks or months for a permanent vascular access to be ready to use. You can use the catheter until a permanent access site is ready.
The catheter site will be in a large vein, usually in your chest or neck. Or it may be in your groin. A few stitches will hold the catheter in place.
By learning how to care for your access, you will help avoid problems and get the best results from your dialysis treatments.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you have any problems.
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Current as of: December 17, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & David C.W. Lau MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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