Kidney School™—a program of Medical Education Institute, Inc.

Module 8—Vascular Access: A Lifeline for Dialysis

Coiled fire hose

Imagine for a moment that you are a firefighter putting out a fire in an office building. Your best chance of success would depend on one crucial thing. Can you think of what it is? If you thought it was the hose that carries water to put out the fire, you're right! This hose would be your lifeline. Without it, your life would be in danger. How secure would you feel walking into raging flames with a garden hose? Not very.

When your kidneys no longer work, one treatment choice is hemodialysis (HD). HD filters wastes and removes excess fluid from your body. Your lifeline in HD is a vascular access—a special passageway to your bloodstream, created by a minor surgery, so dialysis can keep you healthy.

A good access is a bit like a fire hose. It will have a strong blood flow so you can get the full benefit of dialysis. And that means you can feel as well as possible and have a better life. It's up to you to keep your access as healthy as possible. Taking good care of your access can help you have a better life on HD.

Take the Kidney Quiz!

You'll have a better sense of how much you've learned from this module if you take our quick kidney quiz. It's just 10 questions. How about it?

take quiz

Our goal with this module is to share what's most important about vascular access. We want to help you learn about accesses and how to take good care of them by the time you finish this module.

Do you have a vascular access now?


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