Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS



Project ID: 16909
Funded under: FP6-SME
Country: Sweden

Improving life quality for dialysis patients

Increasing numbers of patients in the ageing EU population are in need of regular haemodialysis. An EU-funded project has developed a catheter that improves this treatment for both patients and medical staff.
Improving life quality for dialysis patients
A major problem presenting in the life course of a patient on haemodialysis is arteriovenous (AV) access to blood vessels. A fistula, made by surgically connecting two blood vessels, is used in the majority of cases. However, this often calls for the creation of new fistulas and multiple operations due to the dialysis needle insertions damaging them over time. New fistula creation, often painful for the patient, takes around eight weeks and comes at a high cost.

The 'New technology for haemodialysis' (Fistula catheter) project developed a soft and flexible catheter for insertion that can be retained during dialysis treatments without damage to the fistula. Fistula catheter realised its original objective to reduce fistula damages, thus lengthening product life, better working conditions for health care workers, and more patient comfort and freedom.

The new fistula catheter design demonstrated blood flow improvement by 25 %. The new soft shape catheter allows for increased surveillance of the fistula, thereby reducing the risk of damage, and enables a shorter time for dialysis.

During the project's research and development (R&D) phases, team members made visits with nurses in various countries to present progress on the new catheter. This was deemed necessary in order to ensure the product and its design meet requirements and expectations.

Beyond the project's R&D activities, emphasis was also placed on the design and ergonomic features that would assist the work of practitioners (nurses and doctors) working with haemodialysis patients. Such discussions resulted in a catheter with a more ergonomic and user-friendly design.

Project partners expect to continue efforts until the full-scale production of a final version is made available to the market. To realise this, it is most important to ensure the manufacturing process and reliability of a product that promises to reduce costs and total time of dialysis, thereby improving quality of life for many patients.

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