Dialysis Needles, Self-Cannulation and the Buttonhole Method

Daily Home Hemodialysis - Home Dialysis Central
February 7, 2021 0 Comments

Dialysis Needles, Self-Cannulation and the Buttonhole Method

For many individuals on in-center hemodialysis (HD), getting the needles positioned is probably the most excessive stress a part of a remedy. Lack of management over who places in your needles generally is a black cloud over your remedy days. Worry of somebody new placing in your needles might even hold you from touring. However you possibly can cut back your stress and really feel much less ache by placing in your

If you happen to plan to do house HD, studying to put your needles (self-cannulation) can be a part of your coaching. Studying that talent forward of time can get you over a hurdle and assist shorten your coaching time. You possibly can study to place in needles along with your left hand in case you are proper handed, or vice versa. You do want to have the ability to see and to maneuver your wrist, hand, and fingers.

While you study to place in your individual needles, you’re actually taking management into your individual fingers—that is an ideal feeling. On this article, we’ll cowl why it is best to place in your individual needles, getting previous the worry, the best way to put in needles, and the buttonhole method.

Maintain your entry longer

You have heard that your entry is your lifeline, and it is true. Every particular person solely has about 10 websites that can be utilized to make a fistula or graft for HD entry. So, it is important to maintain each so long as potential. One of the simplest ways to do that is to have one, constant particular person inserting the needles. And the one one who goes to
of your HD remedies…is you.

Entry outlined

is a direct hyperlink from your individual artery to your individual vein—all your individual tissue—so it is much less more likely to get contaminated or clotted. It’s the greatest kind of entry and most definitely that can assist you reside longest.
is a chunk of synthetic tubing used to hyperlink your artery and vein collectively. It’s extra more likely to want hospital “tune-ups” to take away clots, and extra susceptible to an infection.

When your entry is
(the needle punctures each partitions of the entry), blood leaks into the tissues and causes swelling, and sometimes a painful bruise. The escaped blood can compress your entry. This may occasionally trigger
(narrowing of the blood vessel) and/or a blood clot that might harm your entry—and even trigger it to fail.

When another person places needles in, they will solely really feel the skin of your entry. Since your entry is in
arm or leg, you possibly can really feel the within
the skin. Plus, every particular person might use a distinct angle to place the needles in—when you would use the identical angle every time.

Each of those elements provide you with a built-in edge that nobody else has, not even an expert. You might be more likely to do an excellent job. Your entry might final years longer for those who put your individual needles in (and this helps cut back your stress degree). Some fistulas have lasted 30 years or extra.

Getting previous the worry

There is not any query that it may be onerous to rise up the nerve to place in your individual needles. However individuals who do it say that they have to focus so onerous on getting the needle in that it distracts them from the ache. So, it hurts a lot much less, which is a plus.

* If needle ache or worry of needles is a matter for you—as it’s for a lot of—please make sure to learn our article known as
Dialysis Needle Worry: Easing the Sting.

You possibly can take child steps to get used to the thought of placing in your individual needles:

  1. Begin by watching whereas another person will get their needles put in.
  2. Subsequent, strive watching when you get your individual needles—even only a look at first, if that is all you are able to do. Search for a bit longer at every remedy.
  3. Maintain your websites on the finish of remedy if you have not been doing that.
  4. Ask the workers for those who can maintain a needle to get used to the way it feels in your hand.
  5. Consider using a topical cream or gel to numb the pores and skin over your entry.
  6. Ask the workers to show you the best way to put your needles in.*

* Notice: Some facilities fear that they are going to be sued in the event that they let individuals self-cannulate. Others say they can not permit it if they don’t seem to be licensed by Medicare for self-care or house dialysis. Neither of those is true.
No middle has ever been sued for letting sufferers self-cannulate. (Placing in your individual needles is safer than having another person do it.) Plus, Medicare helps self-cannulation as a part of the
Fistula First
program to boost the numbers of people that have fistulas. No self-care or house certification is required.

How you can put in needles

You possibly can learn to put in needles by having an expert present you, step-by-step, what to do. It is extra of an artwork than a science. There are few research to information how issues are carried out. Every middle does the steps a bit in a different way; it is best for those who comply with the steps the best way your middle or house coaching nurse prefers. Listed below are the essential steps:

  1. Collect your provides. You may want needles, gauze pads, tape (you will tear a lot of items to size), a tourniquet, a cleanser in your entry, clear gloves, alcohol wipes, Band-aids, a sharps container (to get rid of used needles or syringes), and many others. Have it multi functional place, with tape items torn and able to use, so issues go quicker. You could need to write a guidelines (or your middle might provide you with one) of all of the belongings you want.
  2. Assess your entry. Really feel for the
    (buzzing vibration) and pay attention for the
    (whooshing sound) with a stethoscope. Your bruit ought to sound the identical from at some point to the following, and your thrill ought to really feel the identical. A better pitched bruit or thrill that turns into weaker can imply an issue that must be fastened. Search for indicators of an infection, like pus, heat, swelling, or redness. By no means place a needle into an space of an infection—you can unfold it into your bloodstream. If you happen to see indicators (or have a fever), name your coaching nurse. Do not place needles into spots which are flat or bulging. Select your websites.
  3. Wash your fingers & entry. Your middle will educate you the best way to wash your wrists, fingers, fingernails, and between your fingers, and to wash off your entry web site. Use the cleaning soap or antibacterial product they recommend. Dry your fingers effectively with paper towels, and use a paper towel to show off the tap. Placed on gloves.
  4. If in case you have a fistula, apply a tourniquet or blood strain cuff
    . A tourniquet slightly below your armpit helps you see your entry, retains the vessel from rolling, and tightens the pores and skin so it’s simpler to place the needles in. The tourniquet shouldn’t be so tight that it causes ache or makes your fingers flip blue!
    By no means use a tourniquet throughout dialysis. Tourniquets usually are not used for grafts.
  5. Insert the needles. Your coaching nurse will educate you the best way to maintain the needle and what angle to carry it at to succeed in your fistula or graft. Normally, each needles will level up, towards your shoulder.
    You may grasp the wings of the needle and keep away from touching it to something besides your cleansed pores and skin. (If the needle touches one thing else, throw it out in a Sharps field and use a recent one to keep away from an infection.) Contact it to your pores and skin and slowly press ahead till it’s within the vessel. You could really feel a small “pop” when it’s in place. Some facilities can have you connect a syringe to the needle with saline in it. Others is not going to. A “flashback” of blood within the syringe or on the hub of the needle when you hook it up will show you how to to see that you’re in the appropriate spot.
  6. Tape down the needles. You may learn to place tape to carry the needles in place. For nocturnal house HD, you will use additional tape, a Tegaderm® bandage, or the same dressing to carry your needles and tubing safely in place all night time.
  7. Troubleshooting. If the arterial or venous pressures on the machine are excessive, or the needle is uncomfortable, it could be pulling in opposition to the wall of your entry. Your coaching nurse will educate you the best way to gently transfer it to a greater spot. You could must tape a small gauze pad underneath it to assist maintain it in place on the proper angle.
  8. Eradicating the needles after remedy. When your HD is completed, you will take off the tape, and slowly take away one needle at a time, placing strain on the location
    the needle is all the best way out. (Urgent on the needle whereas it’s popping out can lower your entry). When each needles are out, you will maintain your websites till the bleeding stops, then tape them or use a Band-Assist® as you had been taught.

Utilizing the buttonhole method

When needles are eliminated out of your entry, they go away small holes. Over time, with many remedies, these holes have to be fastidiously managed to keep away from harm. Too many needles in the identical small space could cause weak spots that may “balloon” out to type aneurysms (the “lumps and bumps” you might have seen on a long-term entry). In a graft, there is just one approach to forestall this: rotating needle websites. However in a fistula, there are two methods: rotating needle websites
utilizing the
buttonhole method.

The buttonhole method can be known as “constant-site cannulation.” It isn’t a tool; it is a completely different method of placing within the needles. As an alternative of rotating websites, you select two websites (one for every needle) and use them
At every remedy, you place the needles in
precisely the identical spots at precisely the identical angle.
In 8-10 remedies or so, scar tissue will type across the needle right into a tunnel—like a pierced earring gap—at every web site to information the needles into your fistula.
The small holes, subsequent to one another, seem like those in a button.

When this occurs, you employ particular, blunt needles which are a lot much less more likely to infiltrate or to alter the observe. Individuals who use the buttonhole method say that it’s much less painful than utilizing a pointy needle at every HD remedy and when rotating needle websites. As soon as the tunnels are shaped, it’s often fairly simple to put the needles. Analysis exhibits that you’re much less more likely to get aneurysms with the buttonhole method.

To make use of the buttonhole method, you:

  1. Collect your provides.
  2. Assess your entry.
    Look, pay attention, really feel.
  3. Wash your fingers and entry.
  4. Disinfect your entry web site.
    Use the product your clinic tells you to make use of.
  5. Take away the scabs from the final remedy
    . Your clinic workers will let you know how to do that. Be sure you comply with their steps, to keep away from an infection. Do NOT use your fingernails, or the tip of the
    needle you’re going to use. Be sure you take away the complete scab.
  6. Disinfect your entry web site once more.
    Scabs have germs in them. You need to make sure to kill any germs so that you don’t push them into your bloodstream with the needle.
  7. Apply a tourniquet or blood strain cuff.
  8. Insert the blunt needles.
    There needs to be no resistance when the needle slides down the tunnel. You will have somewhat strain to push the needle by way of the blood vessel wall.
    Don’t push onerous! Guarantee that your arm is in the identical spot as at all times. Name your coaching nurse for assist for those who run into an issue. Generally, you
    may want to make use of a pointy needle for one remedy.
  9. Tape down the needles.
  10. Troubleshoot if you must.
  11. Take away the needles after remedy and maintain your websites as you’re taught.

Medisystems, which makes the blunt needles which are used for the buttonhole method, has a useful brochure and a video so you possibly can see this for your self. You possibly can
obtain the brochure right here.
or name 800-369-MEDI to order the
Fixed-Web site Cannulation with Buttonhole® Needles


Placing in your individual needles is a crucial self-care talent that can assist protect your entry so you possibly can really feel your greatest and have extra management over your remedy. When you possibly can put in your individual needles, you at all times know that you’ve got an knowledgeable cannulator shut at hand. This will free you as much as journey or take into consideration doing house HD.


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    Sort of vascular entry and mortality in U.S. hemodialysis sufferers.
    Kidney Int
    60:1443-1451, 2001.
  2. Lewis C.
    Let’s empower sufferers with the selection of self-cannulation!
    Nephrol Nurs J
    32(2):225, 2005.
  3. Twardowski Z, Kubara H.
    Completely different websites versus fixed websites of needle insertion into arteriovenous fistula for remedy by repeated dialysis.
    Dial Transplant
    8:978-80, 1979.
  4. Kronung G.
    Plastic deformation of Cimino fistula by repeated puncture.
    Dial Transplant
    13(10): 635-638, October 1984.

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