Thursday, 16 July 2015

Most Dialysis Patients Aren't Receiving The Best Treatment

According to a recent article at GPB, most dialysis patients are not getting the recommended treatment. For twenty years or more, it's been recommended that arteriovenous fistulas should be used, which requires a simple operation, which in turn shortens the time for each dialysis session by increasing the blood flow. But a report in JAMA Surgery says only 20% of patients are going down this route. Despite the fact that using arteriovenous fistulas improves the survival rate.

The results should that it also depended on where you life, with some areas having 11% of hemodialysis patients using arteriovenous fistulas and other regions having up to 22%. This was from a study of almost 500,000 patients. Which suggests almost 400,000 are not getting the best option available.

"Doctors are usually really good about following standards of care and recommendations, but in this area, we are failing miserably," said Dr. Mahmoud Malas, a surgeon at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who led the study. "We have had recommendations for [the best possible care for] 20 years now, but after all this time, only about 20 percent of those starting dialysis are getting it done right."

Fistulas are also safer. "Chances of you dying are 30 to 40 percent less if you use a fistula," Malas says. That's a pretty important statistic as well.

If the recommended treatment was used, life would be better and longer for a very large proportion of those on dialysis. Do the right thing and save thousands of lives each year recommends the study.