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DMC Harper University Hospital Dialysis Access Center Introduces A Safer, Longer-Lasting Approach to "Vascular Graft" Procedure
Date:7/17/2013

inuing cardiovascular care, inpatient and outpatient services, a hypertension program and kidney transplant services to all kidney patients who require them.

In order to provide the best continuing access to dialysis, the DAC relies on a variety of procedures designed to establish a permanent connecting-point that will allow patients to link up with a dialysis machine whenever required.

There are two basic types of access-establishing procedures.  One of them, known as a "Fistula Procedure," connects a vein (typically located in the patient's arm) with a nearby artery.  This bridge between the two – permanently maintained beneath the patient's skin – then provides a safe and reliable entry point for the needle-fronted line that will carry the patient's blood through the dialysis machine, so that it can be cleaned of waste products and then returned to the patient's own bloodstream.

The second type of dialysis access is achieved via a tube (or "catheter") that is inserted into a large vein in the neck, chest or groin and then connected to the dialysis machine.

Because the catheter approach presents a higher rate of infection, many kidney specialists prefer to use the Fistula Procedure.

Dr. Rits also noted that the DAC is providing an important public-health benefit in Detroit, where diabetes-linked kidney disease has long been a chronic health problem.

"I think what's really significant about our program is that it's targeted to the thousands of Detroit-area patients who have an urgent need to maintain safe, healthy access to kidney dialysis," he said.

"Meeting the needs of that population is extremely important to us at Harper – which is why we've created the only hospital-based program in Michigan designed to help achieve continuing access to dialysis for patients with kidney disease."

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