Background: The native arteriovenous fistula (AVF) needs maturation before it can be used. Needling done before time may result in haematoma formation, miscannulation or even access loss. Methods: This retrospective study included 20 patients with AVFs punctured with fluoroplastic dialysis catheters within 30 days after access creation and 19 historical controls. Results: The time to first puncture was 2-29 days for the study group and 1-26 days for the control group. The incidences of haematoma were 16.7 and 48 per 1,000 dialysis sessions for plastic and metal needles, respectively. Estimated primary functional fistula survival at 3, 6 and 12 months were 95, 90 and 74% for the study group and 79, 67 and 60% for the control group (p = 0.106), respectively. Conclusions: Use of plastic needles enables safe AVF cannulation. If applied judiciously, it can minimize or even avoid catheter use.

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