Referral time for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients to nephrologists and initial vascular access method are considered significant factors that impact health outcomes at the time of hemodialysis (HD) initiation. Native arteriovenous fistula (AVF) is strongly recommended as initial access. However, little is known about the referral rate among ESRD receiving HD in Palestine and its correlation with AVF creation. In Ramallah Hemodialysis Center, we investigated the pre-dialysis nephrology care and AVF usage in 156 patients. Type of access at HD initiation was temporary central venous catheter (CVC) in 114 (73%), tunneled hemodialysis catheter (TDC) in 21 (13%) and AVF in 21 (13%). Out of all participants, 120 (77%) were seen by nephrologist prior to dialysis. Of the participants who initiated dialysis with a CVC, 36 (31%) had not received prior nephrology care. All participants who initiated dialysis with functional AVF had received prior nephrology care. Patients who were not seen by a nephrologist prior to HD initiation had no chance at starting HD with AVF, whereas 17% of those who had nephrology care >12 months started with AVF. In conclusion, a relatively large percentage of Palestinian HD patients who were maintained on HD did not have any predialysis nephrology care. In addition, patients who received predialysis nephrology care were significantly more likely to start their HD through AVF whereas all those without predialysis nephrology care started through CVC. More in-depth national studies focusing on improving nephrology referral in ESRD patients are needed to increase AVF utilization.Reference:
Atieh, A. S., Shamasneh, A. O., Hamadah, A. and Gharaibeh, K. A. (2020) Predialysis nephrology care amongst Palestinian hemodialysis patients and its impact on initial vascular access type. Renal Failure. 42(1), p.200–206. https://doi.org/10.1080/0886022X.2020.1727512.