Author: Priti Patel, MD MPH
CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion
While undergoing dialysis, patients have a lot on their minds. The last thing they need to worry about is getting a bloodstream infection in the process.
In the United States, more than 370,000 people receive long-term hemodialysis. Infection is a leading cause of illness and is the second leading cause of death in these patients. Bloodstream infections are one of the most serious types of infections dialysis patients can get. Since 1993, there has been a 40 percent increase in the rates of hospitalizations for bloodstream infection among hemodialysis patients, underscoring the importance of protecting this population.
In 2009, CDC established the CDC Dialysis Bloodstream Infection Prevention Collaborative, a partnership of freestanding and hospital-based outpatient dialysis facilities from across the country. These early adopters have seen great success in preventing bloodstream infections among their patients. Collaborative participants have demonstrated a 31 percent decrease in bloodstream infections and a 53 percent decrease in access-related bloodstream infections when CDC prevention guidelines are implemented.
Now, CDC has expanded its offering of checklist and audit tools for dialysis facilities. This will provide all facilities – not just those formally engaged in the CDC Collaborative –with the simple tools needed to establish and engage in their own prevention efforts.
By working together, we can make a tremendous impact on patients’ lives. We’re learning from the successes of our partners in the dialysis community and are now able to promote these practices for implementation on a more widespread basis in our nation’s dialysis clinics.
Please help us in this quest – take these simple tools and implement them into your daily practice. And give us your feedback on how we can help you Make Dialysis Safer for all patients.