APIC Introduces Guide to Elimination of Infections in Hemodialysis

In an effort to establish universally accepted best practices for protecting patients undergoing hemodialysis, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) has published a Guide to the Elimination of Infections in Hemodialysis. Following cardiovascular disease, infection is the second largest cause of death for hemodialysis patients.

The guide was developed by healthcare professionals responsible for infection prevention in acute care, ambulatory and home hemodialysis settings. With input from infection preventionists, dialysis technicians and dialysis nurses, the guide presents effective and actionable steps to reduce the risk of infection and protect patients.

Hemodialysis technologies have greatly improved the health and quality of life for millions of people across the globe suffering from kidney disease and kidney failure. However, patients receiving these treatments are particularly vulnerable to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) due to their weakened immune systems and the invasive nature of hemodialysis devices.  For the majority of hemodialysis patients, treatments are administered three times weekly, further increasing the risk of being infected by pathogens present in healthcare settings. Hospitalizations due to infections in hemodialysis patients rose 34 percent between 1993 and 2006.

“The morbidity, mortality and cost of these infections are significant and increasing, yet preventable,” said APIC’s CEO Kathy Warye. “APIC’s new Guide to the Elimination of Infections in Hemodialysis provides evidence-based strategies to help protect this particularly vulnerable patient population from an increasingly prevalent problem. The new guide will also prepare our members to meet future priorities from the federal government, which will focus on infection control in dialysis and ambulatory surgical centers.”

To learn more about the Guide to the Elimination of Infections in Hemodialysis and APIC’s extensive library of other elimination guides, as well as many more infection prevention resources, visit www.apic.org/eliminationguides.