Intravenous literature: Lacson, E. Jr (2011) Epidemiology of hemodialysis vascular access in the United States. Clinical Nephrology. 75(6), p.497-505.
Reemergence of the importance of vascular access in the care of the chronic hemodialysis patient has gained prominence due to renewed interest in clinical outcomes and evidence-based interventions. Further fueled by anticipated regulatory changes in the reimbursement for dialysis care in the United States by 2011 and beyond, the drive to improve quality of care for hemodialysis patients has identified vascular access issues as a key contributor to outcomes. Focus has shifted from simply providing any hemodialysis vascular access to a strong preference for the use of native arteriovenous fistulas and subsequently to a need for reducing exposure to central venous catheters. Combined, these goals have forced a reevaluation of the role of arteriovenous grafts. The context and events associated with the evolution of thinking on these issues as well as available data supporting them are discussed. The key leadership role of nephrologists is emphasized along with a summary of problems and proposed solutions.