Be the first to like this
CDC issued a press release May 13, 2013 titled “Following CDC Protocols Cuts Dialysis Bloodstream Infections in Half.” (Click here to view CDC Press Release on Dialysis Protocols 5-13-2013 hear at Dialysis Lawsuit or click here to view the press release on the CDC website.) The press release summarized the findings of a study of 17 outpatient dialysis facilities and compared infection rates before and after a set of CDC interventions were consistently used. The study was published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. Among other things of interest to people who are undergoing dialysis (and their family members), consider:
The shocking title of the press release that says half of all bloodstream infections would be eliminated if only the dialysis centers would follow CDC protocols;
The statement by CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., who said, “These infections are preventable. CDC has simple tools that dialysis facilities can use to help ensure patients have access to the safe healthcare they deserve.”
The fact that the CDC protocols do not impose costly improvements to dialysis clinics, but on things such as:
“hand hygiene…” This seems to be saying, “dialysis center employees, wash your hands, wash them well, and wash them between every patient.”
applying an antiseptic to the skin for catheter exit-site care.
The CDC press release also stated: ”About 8 in 10 of these patients start treatment with a central line, which is a tube that a doctor usually places in a large vein in a patient’s neck or chest to give important medical treatment. When not put in correctly or not kept clean, central lines can provide a portal for germs to enter the body and cause bloodstream infections.
As a result of the study, dialysis centers received a simple CDC checklist for dialysis centers. The checklist is a PDF file that will be uploaded on Michael J. Evans' SlideShare network The checklist contains things such as:
Check that there is no visible soil or blood on surfaces;
Ensure that the patient has left the dialysis station;
Discard all single-use supplies;
Remove gloves and perform hand hygiene;
Wear clean gloves.
There are more items on the checklist, but most are common sense items such as the ones listed above.
Did half the dialysis patients who got blood infections before the CDC press release get the infections simply because the dialysis center employees didn’t follow proper hygiene? How many hospitalizations for bloodstream infections and how many dialysis deaths could have been prevented?
It would seem to be reasonable to conclude from the CDC documents that half of all bloodstream infections are due to poor medical hygiene. Read the documents for yourself. And if you or your family member is a patient at an outpatient dialysis center, it might not be a bad idea to print out a copy of the CDC Checklist and take it with you the next time you go to the dialysis center.