Caring for your fistula

Proper care must be taken of your fistula to ensure that it gives you years of trouble free service. Follow these tips to prevent fistula-related problems:

- Make sure your blood pressure never falls too low. Low Blood pressures can cause slower flow of blood through the fistula. this can cause the fistula to clot.

- Avoid anything that cause compression or pressure on the fistula for example, things like wristwatches, bag handles or tight clothing. This can also cause the fistula to clot.

- Make sure that the skin around the fistula is clean and healthy. This will help prevent the growth of bacteria in this area. Use a gentle moisturizer to prevent the skin from becoming too dry. Talk to your doctor about which moisturizer is safe for you.

- Check your fistula regularly for signs of redness, itching or tenderness. These are signs of infection.

Remember - an access like your fistula is literally your lifeline! Care for it like you would for your life.