Patient Care

Cutting Down on Dialysis-Related Infections

To reduce deadly dialysis-related blood infections, the new CDC initiative aims to expand the use of CDC recommendations and tools for patient safety.


Each year about 37,000 people get potentially deadly bloodstream infections related to dialysis. But those infections could be cut dramatically by implementing evidence-based recommendations, the CDC says. For several years, facilities that have followed CDC recommendations have successfully reduced bloodstream infections in dialysis patients. "Making evidence-based safety steps a routine part of patient care is a proven strategy to keep dialysis patients safe from bloodstream infections," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH.

Related: Needlesticks and Infections: Still Not Enough Information

The CDC is teaming up with a coalition of health care and patient advocacy organizations and other public health partners in the Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition, an initiative to expand the use of the recommendations and tools to improve dialysis patient safety.

The coalition will promote the use of the CDC’s Core Interventions and provide facilities with resources, including patient and staff education materials with tips to prevent infection; protocols for dialysis facilities; dialysis audit tools and checklists on, for example, catheter care; and videos and DVDs on best practices.

Related: Hospital-Acquired Infections on the Decline

“Dialysis patients are particularly vulnerable to infections,” said Dr. Priti Patel, medical director of the coalition. “We want to get lifesaving tools into the right hands to make a real impact on patients’ lives.”

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