How does one care for an intravenous shunt?iv shunt for hemodialysis

Expert Answers
dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An AV(arteriovenous) shunt is a surgically created anastomosis used in hemodialysis. Care of AV shunt's are  pretty basic, keep the area clean and dry. If the shunt is in the forearm, never ever allow someone to take your blood pressure in that arm. When the BP cuff inflates to 170-180 mmHg this exerts too much pressure on the shunt and they will rupture !!! Profuse bleeding will quickly follow, not to mention the patency of the shunt will be destroyed and you will have to undergo an additional surgery to install a new shunt. Firther if the first shunt is ruined, this will delay your treatment of dialysis.

If the AV shunt is in your neck, usually the subclavian vein, be careful when putting on and taking off clothes. Treat shunts gently.

Just for the record, you DO NOT need to increase your fluids. People on hemodialysis are on fluid restrictions because they are in renal failure.

clwielenga | Student

You need to consult a doctor if this is relation to a real patient.  If this is a project you need to keep the area clean, increase fluids, be careful of introducing air into the tubes, and always access the patient's vital stats and note any new symptoms.