Hospital / In-center Haemodialysis (HD)

How it works?

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What happens during Haemodialysis?

  • A dialysis machine pumps the blood through the filter (called a dialyser).
  • Two needles are inserted into a permanent access, usually in your arm, for each haemodialysis treatment. One withdraws the blood; the other needle returns the filtered blood to your body.

How is blood removed and replaced?

  • Central venous access is gained when a small soft tube (called a catheter) is placed into a large vein in the neck, shoulder or groin area. This allows access or entry to the blood stream and is usually temporary.
  • A ‘fistula’ is the surgical linking of an artery to a vein providing permanent access to blood vessels.
  • A ‘graft’ is tubing surgically placed under the skin, linking an artery to a vein. This is another type of permanent access to blood vessels.

To Perform haemodialysis, you need access to the bloodstream

To place an access, to get your blood, a surgeon will perform an operation to strengthen one of your veins or to put a soft tube inside your arm or thigh.

If possible, the surgeon will attach a vein and an artery together to form a ‘fistula’. This is the best possible type of access. If your veins are small or weak, the surgeon inserts a ‘graft’ instead. This is a soft tube connected to an artery on one end and a vein on the other. Blood runs through the graft.

Both a fistula and a graft are underneath the skin. The surgery needed to place an access is done in the hospital. This permanent access can take up to a few months to heal properly.

If you need dialysis before a permanent access is in place, the doctor will insert a temporary access. This is done by placing a special tube, called a ‘HD catheter’, in a large blood vessel in your neck or groin area.