Due to several reported incidents of life-threatening haemorrhages the BRS Vascular Access Special Interest Group (BRS VA SIG) have produced some short recommendations on preventing and managing life-threatening haemorrhage (LTH) from arteriovenous fistulae (AVF) and grafts (AVG)
These recommendations relate to bleeding from an AVF or AVG that does not resolve with ‘normal’ pressure applied to the bleeding site.
They are not related to minor bleeds from cannulation sites or venous needle dislodgement. Whilst this is a rare occurrence, when it occurs it can become life-threatening rapidly and is traumatic for patients, family, friends and renal units.
The main aims of the recommendations are to prevent LTH from AVF and AVG through early detection of warning signs supported with prompt referral systems for treatment to prevent catastrophic harm to patients.
The key message is that help should be sought from emergency services immediately.
The recommendations are part of a larger project examining this risk, so further information, detail and products will be available in the future.