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November 1977

Vascular Access in a University Transplant and Dialysis Program: Results, Costs, and Manpower Implications

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Division of General Surgery (Vascular-Trauma-Transplantation) and the Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Division of Health Affairs.

Arch Surg. 1977;112(11):1375-1380. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1977.01370110109012

• Vascular access has become the most common operation performed at North Carolina Memorial Hospital, Chapel Hill. Three hundred vascular access procedures performed between 1971 and 1975 were reviewed as to results, costs, and manpower commitment. Subcutaneous radial arterial venous fistula was the procedure of choice, with a 67% two-year patency and the lowest incidence of complications. An average of 1.7 operations per patient was necessary to maintain access. Patients used an average of 19 hospital days per year of dialysis for vascular access and an average of 35 hospital days per year of dialysis for all medical problems. Cost of hospitalization averaged $6,818 per patient per year of dialysis, and for vascular access alone averaged $3,452 per patient per year of dialysis. To create and maintain vascular access, 1,000 hours of operating room time were required, at an expense of $200,000. Vascular access in support of patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis requires a massive commitment of dollars, time, and personnel.

(Arch Surg 112:1375-1380, 1977)