Vascular access is a problem - continual needle insertion can lead to damage to the vein. A Singapore based company has presented their solution to this problem - A tiny titanium implant under the skin, which helps nurses insert a needle the same way every time without damaging the vein.
Continual insertion of needles over time can lead to damage to the veins because dialysis can last for the rest of a patient's life. For anyone operating a home dialysis unit, and self inserting a needle, things can be a bit more tricky than for a trained nurse.
Dr Akira Wu, a renal specialist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, said the device - which is called the av-Guardian - could be especially useful for fat people or those with smaller veins.
"It can be a real challenge to find the fistula, especially for women, whose veins are a bit smaller," Dr Wu said. "Sometimes, you just have to use your judgment and push the needle in."
Advent Access - a spin-off from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research - is working with National University Hospital, Singapore General Hospital and National Kidney Foundation on a pilot trial.
The press report can be read here.