The non-profit Medical Education Institute (MEI) has released a brand-new continuing education (CE) course about Endovascular AV Fistula Creation and Use. The course is available for dialysis nurses and technicians, and counts for one credit of CE.
Arteriovenous (AV) fistulas are created surgically to join an artery and vein to become a patient’s access for dialysis. However, patients often face swelling, bruising, staples or stitches, and pain. Now, for the first time in more than 50 years, there is a major advance in AV fistula creation. Endovascular (into the blood vessel) AV fistulas are formed non-surgically: one cannula is inserted into a vein and another into an artery, and magnetic or heat energy fuses a connection between the two. This minimally invasive procedure reduces scarring and can be done with local anesthesia. Endovascular AV fistulas are likely to become more common, and dialysis staff will need to know how they are created, how their use can benefit patients, how to care for them, and how to cannulate.