Before and during dialysis, the patients need to clean the skin covering the access before inserting the needles to avoid infection. If any signs of infection are noticed, inform the nurse immediately. The patients need to make sure that their blood is flowing and not clotting while on treatment. It is important that the catheter is kept dry, even when taking a bath.
The patients will also need to take care of their fistula or graft. They should not wear anything tight around the fistula/graft arm i.e. watches, bracelets, tight clothing, or carry heavy bags looped over the fistula/graft. Besides checking that the fistula/graft is working by feeling for the buzzing sensation every morning and night, the patients should not allow non-dialysis staff to take blood or blood pressure on their fistula/graft arm. They need to observe for signs of infection, such as redness, oozing of blood or pus, swelling and heat, and contact the nurse immediately if there are any problems with their fistula/graft.