Standardized definitions for hemodialysis vascular access.
ABSTRACT Vascular access dysfunction is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among end-stage renal disease patients. Vascular access dysfunction exists in all three types of available accesses: arteriovenous fistulas, arteriovenous grafts, and tunneled catheters. To improve clinical research and outcomes in hemodialysis (HD) access dysfunction, the development of a multidisciplinary network of collaborative investigators with various areas of expertise, and common standards for terminology and classification in all vascular access types, is required. The North American Vascular Access Consortium (NAVAC) is a newly formed multidisciplinary and multicenter network of experts in the area of HD vascular access, who include nephrologists and interventional nephrologists from the United States and Canada with: (1) a primary clinical and research focus in HD vascular access dysfunction, (2) national and internationally recognized experts in vascular access, and (3) a history of productivity measured by peer-reviewed publications and funding among members of this consortium. The consortium's mission is to improve the quality and efficiency in vascular access research, and impact the research in the area of HD vascular access by conducting observational studies and randomized controlled trials. The purpose of the consortium's initial manuscript is to provide working and standard vascular access definitions relating to (1) epidemiology, (2) vascular access function, (3) vascular access patency, and (4) complications in vascular accesses relating to each of the vascular access types.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Medical, ethical and financial dilemmas may arise in treating undocumented-uninsured patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Hereby we describe the 10-year experience of treating undocumented-uninsured ESRD patients in a large public dialysis-unit. METHODS: We evaluated the medical files of all the chronic dialysis patients treated at the Tel-Aviv Medical Center between the years 2000--2010. Data for all immigrant patients without documentation and medical insurance were obtained. Clinical data were compared with an age-matched cohort of 77 insured dialysis patients. RESULTS: Fifteen undocumented-uninsured patients were treated with chronic scheduled dialysis therapy for a mean length of 2.3 years and a total of 4953 hemodialysis sessions, despite lack of reimbursement. All undocumented-uninsured patients presented initially with symptoms attributed to uremia and with stage 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD). In comparison, in the age-matched cohort, only 6 patients (8%) were initially evaluated by a nephrologist at stage 5 CKD. Levels of hemoglobin (8.5 +/- 1.7 versus 10.8 +/- 1.6 g/dL; p < 0.0001) and albumin (33.8 +/- 4.8 versus 37.7 +/- 3.9 g/L; p < 0.001) were lower in the undocumented-uninsured dialysis patients compared with the age-matched insured patients at initiation of hemodialysis therapy. These significant changes were persistent throughout the treatment period. Hemodialysis was performed in all the undocumented-uninsured patients via tunneled cuffed catheters (TCC) without higher rates of TCC-associated infections. The rate of skipped hemodialysis sessions was similar in the undocumented-uninsured and age-matched insured cohorts. CONCLUSIONS: Undocumented-uninsured dialysis patients presented initially in the advanced stages of CKD with lower levels of hemoglobin and worse nutritional status in comparison with age-matched insured patients. The type of vascular access for hemodialysis was less than optimal with regards to current guidelines. There is a need for the national and international nephrology communities to establish a policy concerning the treatment of undocumented-uninsured patients with CKD.BMC Nephrology 09/2012; 13(1):112. · 2.18 Impact Factor