Severe Bruising

My husband came home from the center on Wednesday bruising in his upper right arm where his fistula is. During the night it became extremly severe. It was even worse on Thursday, very dark maroon & extending from just below his shoulder almost to his elbow & 3/4 around his arm. Luckily he still has access in his shoulder for hemo. He was scheduled to have that removed Monday, but now the center says cancel that and use warm compresses.

I know what caused the bruising & how gravity plays a part, but obviously he was still bleeding after he came home & no doubt on Thursday. I would like to know if this is a usual happening, anyone else have this experience, & what would happen if he no longer had access in his shoulder.

Is this excusable or inexcusable.
I’m angry, believe me it’s bad. I would post a picture here, but don’t know how to do it.

Sounds to me that one of the sharp needles accidently made a hole through the fistula wall…then blood starts leaking through there making the arms swell and hurt bad.

That can last for up to almost a month, but you can relieve it by using warm wet towels over it and wrapping with Aloe Vera at night using Saran Wrap…

Regardless how it happened its bad, it can damage the fistula, but probably the most efficient way of preventing that is by taking over. Tell your husband to take over and start putting his own needles in or does he already put his own needles in?

Hi Gus,
No he doesn’t put in his needles & it never occured to me that he could do it for himself at the center.
I’m going to encourage him to do it. What a great Gus, idea, this may be just what’s needed for him to start getting involved in his own care.

He’s sleeping now so when he wakes I will wrap his arm as per your instructions. Tha Saran is a good idea.

His fistula is in his right upper arm & he is also right handed. Will that make it more difficult for him to put in his own needles. I would think too that if he is starting to pierce a vein or artery he will know it & stop.
Am I right??

Timing couldn’t be much better. Check out the Topic of the Month which is on “Dialysis Needles, Self-Cannulation, and the Buttonhole Technique:”

I hope that this helps him to see that it is possible to do your own needle sticks. Learning to use the non-dominant hand is possible and having one person do the self-cannulation with a fistula using the buttonhole technique helps to reduce the discomfort and helps the fistula last longer. If he learns to self-cannulate or if you’re willing to learn how to do his needle sticks for him, he might want to think of doing home hemo. This will let him set his own dialysis schedule, enjoy the privacy and comfort of dialysis in his own home where he can watch TV or visit with friends and family as often and as long as he wants.

Gus, I wish I could show him Bill’s video, I’d like to see it too, but it won’t open. Transfers to 39% & will go no further. Tried three times.

His fistula is in his upper arm, is that unusual or more difficult to deal with.

I do not have an aloe plant, but know someone who does, will beg some leaves from them.

Beth, just printed Topic of The Month, very complete. Cleared a lot of things up for me too.
Rob is interest in HHD, but has only said so in words. I thnk if he will learn to self cannulate at the center, great suggestion from Gus, it may be just the thing to get him started taking charge of his own care.