Use of Ultrasound Guidance During Cannulation of Arteriovenous Fistulas

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Individuals who require renal replacement therapy overwhelmingly choose outpatient hemodialysis. Appropriate cannulation techniques are an essential element in access preservation and in the prevention of access-related complications. Missed cannulations can result in damage of arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) and arteriovenous grafts (AVGs). Ultrasound-guided cannulation is an effective technique for the placement of peripheral intravenous (IV) catheters and central venous catheters (CVCs) for hemodialysis. The purposes of this project were to determine if ultrasound-guided cannulation of AVFs decreased the number of missed cannulations, to determine staff and patient perceptions regarding cannulation, and to implement a quality incentive program (QIP) to implement an evidence-based ultrasound-guided policy and procedure, training program, and competency evaluation at a hospital-based dialysis facility.

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