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Covering Your Hemodialysis Access

By Connie Kramer

I want to wear short sleeves in the summertime, but I was concerned about bumping or nicking the hemodialysis access in my right forearm. Working outside, cleaning house, and even walking through the mall, I worried about bumping into corners, edges, and sharp objects.

So I went to a medical supply store and bought an elastic arm sleeve. It's a beige, smooth material that stretches both ways and is thick enough so that I feel support. I bought the extra large size so it's just barely tight enough to stay on.

I like to wear the sleeve because it makes me feel that my access is less likely to get nicked, and it's not as noticeable as my bumpy, scarred skin.*

*Editor's Note: Although there is no evidence to support that covering the access is needed to protect it from injury, wearing an elastic sleeve over the access might make some individuals feel more comfortable.

Permission received to post the following information:

Name: Connie Kramer
Address: Grand Blanc, MI
Cause of renal failure: Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
Time on dialysis: 9 years
Treatments used: In-center hemodialysis, CAPD, transplant
Work/other activities: Designed holiday card used by the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan's annual Christmas card sale
Date: June 1999

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