Optum kidney community

First Dialysis nerves

Morning all

Well starting dialysis has eventually arrived and everything is in place and ready to begin.

My main worry at the moment is the dialysis needles. I can inject myself and have done for a while now but am apprehensive re the larger needles needed for a fistula.

Has anyone any advice that might help to make the experience a better one?

1 Reply

Hi, So.. your first dialysis :

An experienced needle will do this the first time. Your fistula will be soft. Depending on your unit, they often freeze the sites with a small injection of lignocaine. This stings like a bugger and is the worst bit-over in seconds. Some units just put needles straight in-again a small scratch. Once they are in place you should feel no pain. If you do, tell someone straight away. The new, soft fistula can 'blow' where the vein tears a little, causing blood to leak into your arm and cause swelling and pain . This may happen a couple of times but the more your fistula is needled, the stronger it gets. It might not happen at all. Smaller needles are used initially and dialysis will be gentle.

Secondly , if you feel unwell: sick, dizzy or feel cramps anywhere, again, tell someone quickly. Your blood pressure can drop on dialysis and nurses may give you an infusion of Saline (water) to cure it.

Once you are stable and settled into a routine , you may want to put your own needles in! Good luck, I hope it all goes well