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Dialysis Catheters Tied to Higher Risk for Infection, Death, University of Calgary Study



2/22/2013 8:04:15 AM

Dialysis patients using catheters have a higher risk for death, infection and heart problems than patients using other procedures to access the blood, according to a new analysis. Researchers examined 67 studies involving nearly 600,000 dialysis patients to compare the risks associated with three procedures used to access the blood: arteriovenous fistula, arteriovenous graft and central venous catheter. An arteriovenous fistula is formed when a patient's vein and artery are connected to form a site through which blood can be removed and returned. An arteriovenous graft is a plastic channel between an artery and a vein. A third option for dialysis patients is a catheter, which patients often use to avoid surgery or needles or because of declining health.

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