Tunneled Dialysis Catheters

Tunneled Dialysis Catheters

A hemodialysis catheter is a hollow tube used for removal and replacing blood to and from your body. The catheter is tunneled from the internal jugular (IJ) with the tip entering the atrium of the heart. An exit site for the catheter is in the chest wall, under the collar bone. A small cuff on the catheter at the exit site sits under the skin. This cuff helps to keep the catheter in place, as well as, help prevent bacteria from entering the body.

The end of the catheter (outside of the exit site) known as a hub has 2 lumen. One lumen carries blood to the dialysis machine, while the other brings blood back into the body once it has been cleansed by the machine. Each lumen has a clip and an end cap that prevent air from getting into or blood from leaking out of the catheter.

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