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Vascular Access

A vascular access is a way for the health care team to access your bloodstream over and over again. Each time you have a hemodialysis treatment this access is accessed and is connected by a tube to a dialysis machine. One tube takes the blood to the dialysis machine to be cleaned. Another tube returns the clean blood to your body. This process of taking blood to and from your body to the dialysis machine is continuous during a dialysis run. 

There are three types of vascular access: 
  • A fistula 
  • A graft 
  • A catheter 
The BC Renal Hemodialysis Committee and BC Vascular Access Educators Group have developed several teaching pamphlets which provide information about each of these options and the care of vascular access sites. 
Patient Resources

 The following teaching pamphlets were prepared by the BCR Hemodialysis Committee (formerly the Provincial Vascular Access Services Team or PVAST) to educate patients about vascular access options and care of their vascular access sites.



Fistula and Graft

  • It’s Time to Use Your Fistula/Graft for Hemodialysis - English, Chinese (中文), Punjabi (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ)
  • Bleeding Fistula or Graft: Emergency Measures - EnglishChinese (中文), Punjabi (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ)
  • Application of Topical Anaesthetic Prior to Cannulation of a Fistula or Graft - EnglishChinese (中文),  Punjabi (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ),  Tagalog
Ways to Prevent Aneurysms
Considering Self-Cannulation
How to Self-Needle
Buttonhole Cannulation - Your Buttonhole Track
Buttonhole Vacation Instructions

Prevention of Vascular Access Disconnection/Needle Dislodgement

Changing your own Catheter Dressing

Your Catheter

Showering with a Hemodialysis Catheter

What to Do for Hemodialysis Catheter Emergencies

BC Renal has launched the Save the Veins campaign in order to educate patients and health care providers on vein preservation. 

*The information in our patient handout materials are provided for educational/information purposes, and to support discussion with your health care team about your medical condition and treatment. It does not constitute medical advice and should not substitute for advice given by your physician or other qualified health care professional.


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SOURCE: Vascular Access ( )
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