Choosing the optimal hemodialysis vascular access for the elderly patient is best achieved by a patient-centered coordinated multidisciplinary team approach that aligns the patient’s end-stage kidney disease Life-Plan” Viecelli and Lok (2019).
Choosing the optimal hemodialysis vascular access for the elderly patient is best achieved by a patient-centered coordinated multidisciplinary team approach that aligns the patient’s end-stage kidney disease Life-Plan, i.e., the individual treatment approach (supportive care, time-limited or long-term kidney replacement therapy, or combination thereof) and selection of dialysis modality (peritoneal dialysis versus hemodialysis) with the most suitable dialysis access. Finding the right balance between the patient’s preferences, the likelihood of access function and survival, and potential complications in the context of available resources and limited patient survival can be extremely challenging. The framework for choosing the most appropriate vascular access for the elderly presented in this review considers the individual end-stage kidney disease Life-Plan, the patient life expectancy, the likelihood of access function and survival, the timing of dialysis relative to access placement, prior access history, and patient preference. This complex decision-making process should be dynamic in order to accommodate patients’ changing needs and life and health circumstances. Effective and timely communication between the patient, their caregivers, and treating team is key to delivering truly patient-centered care. Delivering this care also requires overcoming the limitations of the currently available evidence that is predominantly based on observational data with its inherent risks of bias. While challenging, future randomized controlled studies exploring the risks, benefits, costs, and timing of placement of available access types in the elderly are required to help us “get it right” for our patients.
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Viecelli, A.K. and Lok, C.E. (2019) Hemodialysis vascular access in the elderly-getting it right. Kidney International. 95(1), p.38-49.