Glossary Entry: Dialysis Catheter


Definition: A dialysis catheter is a flexible tube used to access the bloodstream for hemodialysis, a medical procedure that filters waste and excess fluids from the blood when the kidneys are unable to function properly.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: Dialysis catheters can come in different lengths and designs, including single-lumen and double-lumen catheters, each with specific applications for hemodialysis.


Common Uses: Dialysis catheters are commonly used in patients with end-stage renal disease who require regular hemodialysis to manage their kidney function.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: Dialysis catheters are inserted into a large vein, typically in the neck or groin area, and are carefully positioned to ensure optimal blood flow during hemodialysis treatments.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Potential complications associated with dialysis catheters include infection, blood clots, and damage to the blood vessel during insertion.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: Proper care and maintenance of the dialysis catheter include regular cleaning and monitoring for signs of infection to ensure safe and effective hemodialysis treatments.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: In some cases, catheter locks or anticoagulant solutions may be used in conjunction with dialysis catheters to prevent blood clots and maintain catheter function.

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: Recent advancements in dialysis catheter design have focused on reducing the risk of infection and improving long-term catheter function for hemodialysis patients.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: Dialysis catheters must adhere to specific regulatory guidelines to ensure patient safety and device effectiveness during hemodialysis procedures.