Introducing Cath Away. The 150-day program to freedom from a catheter.

Every hemodialysis patient who can, should send away their catheter and “Go Fistula!” DaVita wants hemodialysis patients to know that in 6 to 8 weeks they can have the advantages offered from a fistula and enjoy the benefits of a better dialysis access and reduced risk of infection. Say bye-bye catheter, “Go Fistula!”

What is a fistula?

A fistula — also called an arteriovenous (AV) fistula — is created by directly connecting a person’s artery and vein — usually in the arm. This is usually an outpatient procedure using a local anesthetic. As blood flows to the vein from the newly connected artery, the vein grows bigger and stronger. The hemodialysis patient is taught to do exercises — such as squeezing a rubber ball — to help the fistula strengthen and mature to get it ready for hemodialysis. Once the fistula has matured, it can provide good blood flow for many years of hemodialysis.

Benefits of a fistula

Kidney and hemodialysis experts, including the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKD) and others consider the fistula the “gold standard” access choice. Research studies have proven patients with a fistula have the fewest complications, such as infection or clotting, compared to all other access choices.


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This site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from a physician. Please check with a physician if you need a diagnosis and/or for treatments as well as information regarding your specific condition. If you are experiencing urgent medical conditions, call 9-1-1