A TEAM of Glaswegian doctors have launched a UK-wide study to improve the lives of those living on kidney dialysis. 

Over the next two years, doctors will recruit 300 of the 550 patients required in the study from Stobhill Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

The study will work to improve care for patients, increase life expectancy and maximise the success of fistulas. 

Fistulas provide easy and reliable access to a patient's bloodstream by joining an artery to a vein under the skin. 

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Ewen Maclean, 67, is one patient who says the study will help improve the lives of those on kidney dialysis. 

He was diagnosed with end stage renal failure in 1987. 

Ewen said: “I’ve had terrible times with my fistula and it’s nobody’s fault, it’s just that they can fail.

“They scan your arms to see where the veins are and see which ones are suitable. Once they find the right spot it takes anything from a few weeks to a few months for it to ‘mature’ and be of use. You are watching it constantly and praying that it won’t stop working."

“As a new patient, you are constantly checking your arm to make sure the fistula is still working. You’re careful not to lift anything too heavy with your fistula arm in case you damage it.

“Getting a transplant is life and hope, but while you’re on dialysis a fistula is the best option. Making them better will make a huge difference.”

Dr Emma Aitken, a consultant transplant surgeon working on the study, said: “Fistulas are the best way of getting dialysis, but the big downfall is that not every fistula works and, therefore, many patients need more than one operation.

“We want to make dialysis care better and hopefully make people live longer. That could be globally important and change practice."

The study has received £1.2 million in funding from the National Institute for Health Research, with the results expected to be completed in 2024.