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Sensing Savvy

Susan Eymann, MS

Susan Eymann is a medical writer with over 20 years of experience covering topics related to intraoperative blood flow measurement. She is also the author of the handbook, Flow-based Intraoperative Coronary Artery Bypass Patency Assurance, which has been widely recognized as one of the most valuable publications on graft patency currently in circulation. Susan holds a Master's of Science degree in Biology from Penn State University.

Recent Posts

Is Access Surveillance Worthwhile?

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Mar 1, 2019

Transonic ultrasound dilution technology revolutionized comprehensive vascular access patency management by enabling routine surveillance to detect decreasing access flows that presage access thrombosis failure.2-6 However, the value of vascular access surveillance continues to spark a spirited debate within the nephrology community with skeptics of surveillance challenging its value and proponents lauding its value.

Studies that attest to the value of vascular access surveillance coupled with early intervention, to reduce the thrombosis rate in both fistulas and grafts include the following:

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Topics: KDOQI

Clinic Oversight Fails Senior Patient

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Feb 27, 2019

Mary Christiensen moved to the senior citizen’s residence after her husband died. The move had been traumatic. Mary felt uprooted, having left behind friends and the home she and her husband had shared for 42 years. One constant remained from her old life. Three times a week she would be driven to a clinic for hemodialysis, as she had for the seven years when her kidneys failed. Even though the treatments drained her, she welcomed them because she would then feel better for a day or so.

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Topics: KDOQI

All Surveillance Is Not the Same

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Feb 25, 2019

Ultrasound indicator dilution is the current Gold Standard for measurement of vascular access recirculation and access flow;1

  • Ultrasound indicator dilution is the method of choice for monthly surveillance of vascular access grafts in adherence to NKF-K/DOQI guidelines
  • Available evidence suggests that access flow measurements are the best tests currently available to screen for access dysfunction.
  • Monthly surveillance is a cost-effective strategy.
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Topics: KDOQI

Why Surveillance is Important – You Can’t Always Believe What You See

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Feb 22, 2019

“The access looks good, why should I bother with surveillance?”

Through years of training and practice, nephrologists, interventional radiologists and surgeons have honed keen observation skills. Yes, we all tend to believe what we see. “A picture is worth a 1000 words,” is what we say and we certainly do think what we see is “real.” A measurement, on the other hand, is abstract, hard to get one’s mind around unless one has a reference and, even then, it is often hard to determine if it is actually within an acceptable threshold.

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Topics: KDOQI

3 Factors That Influence Surveillance Outcomes

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Feb 20, 2019

Transonic ultrasound dilution technology revolutionized comprehensive vascular access patency management by enabling routine surveillance to detect decreasing access flows that foreshadow access thrombosis failure. However, the value of surveillance continues to be scrutinized. In assessing the value of surveillance one must not consider surveillance alone, but in the context of the three factors that influence surveillance outcomes. They are:

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Topics: KDOQI

National Kidney Federation: By Renal Patients for Renal Patients

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Feb 13, 2019

The National Kidney Federation (NKF) is the largest kidney patient association in the United Kingdom. The NKF entered the United Kingdom’s renal landscape in 1979 as a national organization when renal patients realized that individual Kidney Patient Associations (KPAs) needed to band together to have their voices heard in concert. While the current 69 KPAs remain both the ears and the eyes of the NKF, end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients or their caregivers serve as the NKF’s officers, members of its executive committee and its workforce.

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Topics: Hospital Administration, Hemodialysis

FDA Permits Marketing of First Catheter-Based Systems to Create Vascular Access for Hemodialysis Patients

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Feb 11, 2019

On June 22nd, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it has permitted the marketing of two catheter-based devices designed to create a connection to veins and arteries in patients with chronic kidney disease who need hemodialysis.

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What Causes Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Jan 23, 2019


Diabetes: Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. The results of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) show that moderate exercise, a healthier diet, and weight reduction can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in persons at risk.

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An Alternative Natural Vascular Access Graft

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Jan 16, 2019

A working vascular access is the lifeline for a hemodialysis patient. It is also an Achilles heel, for when it fails, another access (frequently a catheter) must be quickly placed for life preserving hemodialysis to continue. While an arteriovenous fistula (a natural conduit connecting an artery and a vein) is the preferred vascular access, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) synthetic grafts are frequently used as the second choice for a vascular access, before placing a catheter.

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Topics: CABG Surgery, Hemodialysis

Healthy People 2020 — Disparity of Health Coverage

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Jan 9, 2019

Over the first half of this decade, 20 million adults have gained health insurance coverage as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Yet even as the number of uninsured was reduced, millions of Americans still lack coverage.

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