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Dialysis Catheter

A Dialysis catheter (also called a Vas Cath) is a specialised central venous catheter used in dialysis. This catheter is placed when the patient requires dialysis for renal (kidney) failure. The patient’s shoulder (subclavian vein), neck (jugular vein) or groin (femoral vein) are commonly used. The catheter is inserted in the same way that a Central Venous Catheter is placed.

Dialysis Catheter (Vas Cath)

How Does It Work?

Once inserted, the catheter is attached with tubing to the dialysis machine. The patient’s blood flows through the dialysis machine and is filtered to remove fluids and/or toxins. The blood is then returned to the patient. (See dialysis). An x-ray is usually performed after insertion to confirm the position of the catheter.


Are There Any Complications?

All Intensive Care interventions and procedures carry a degree of potential risk even when performed by skilled and experienced staff. Please discuss these issues with the medical and nursing staff who are caring for the patient.


Any Questions?

Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please discuss them with the ICU nurses and doctors.

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The information contained on this page is general in nature and therefore cannot reflect individual patient variation. In addition it reflects Australian intensive care practice which may differ from other countries. It is meant as a back up to specific information which will be discussed with you by the Doctors and Nurses caring for your loved one. ICCMU attests to the accuracy of the information contained here BUT takes no responsibility for how it may apply to an individual patient. Please refer to the full disclaimer.


Dialysis Catheters Version 1.2
First published June 2004
Revised November 2011
Revised by Kay Johnson CNS  ICCMU

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 November 2011 10:23