Buttonhole cannulation was introduced into this Queensland Renal Service in 2005. Contrary to published literature, a local review of cannulation outcomes found no greater likelihood of infections with the buttonhole technique.Objectives:
To compare the outcomes of buttonhole and rope-ladder cannulation techniques.Design:
Consenting patients attending for haemodialysis via an existing arteriovenous fistula (n = 104).Measurements:
Cannulation sites were assessed at every dialysis session for 12 weeks; fear and pain were scored by participants weekly.Results:
No statistically significant differences in infection, haematoma formation, pain or fear between the techniques. Occurrence of aneurysm was higher (p < 0.05) in the rope-ladder group. More patients in buttonhole group required multiple cannulation attempts (p < 0.05). More of the rope-ladder group failed to attend their scheduled dialysis sessions (p < 0.05).Conclusions and applications to practice:
This study confirms that in this setting there are few negative outcomes of either technique of fistula cannulation. Specifically, buttonhole cannulation appears to be a safe alternative means of fistula access to the gold-standard cannulation technique. The Service is examining strategies to improve attendance.