I have been a dialysis RN for almost 5 months. When cannulating a patient last week I caused his AV graft to infiltrate. The swelling and bruising were pronounced. The needle was removed and ice was applied to the site. The patient obviously expressed a great deal of anger accompanied with verbal insults. I asked an experienced technician to cannulate in a new site once the bleeding stopped. I am finding that my confidence is totally shot and I frequently ask for assistance with cannulation for fear of repeating this scenario. How can I work through this? I have asked other nurses and techs for methods to prevent a repeated incident in the future. Everyone just says that "sometimes it happens!"
I ran one yesterday that infiltrated after 2 hours. It happens and we learn and continue to go forward to help our patients. You may have nicked or went through the back side of the vessel, who knows. Fistulas can be strange animals, but you didn't do any damage to it. The swelling and discoloration will go away. Professional nurses smile a lot, so be happy. Your technique will continually improve.
Last edit by diabo on Oct 5, '06