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Infection Prevention

Patient with Doctor Hispanic Senior Couple

Patients on dialysis are at a high risk for getting an infection. But there are several things you can do to minimize your chances of getting an infection.

Know where germs can be found:

  • on our hands and skin
  • in our nose and mouth
  • on the hands of your medical staff and in their noses
  • on your pet
  • inside and outside your house
  • on surfaces and equipment

Know the signs and symptoms of an infection:

  • redness
  • swelling
  • pain
  • drainage
  • fever
  • chill

Report any signs of infection to your care givers

Wash your hands often, especially before and after dialysis treatment

  Keep your access site clean

  Never scratch or remove scabs from your access site

  Make sure your caregivers:

  • Wash hands
  • Wear gloves, mask, and gown
  • Disinfect your skin before inserting needles
  • Change gloves after stopping dialysis machine and before removing needles

Infection-Prevention Videos

Dialysis Patients Speak Preventing Infections 2012 (Video)

Dialysis Patients Speak: Preventing Infections Created by Liza Walworth for the ESRD Network of New England, Inc. at Dialysis Clinic, Inc.'s facility at Tufts Medical Center

How to Properly Wash Your Hands and Your Vascular Access (Video)

How to Wash your Hands and Your Vascular Access to Prevent Infection Produced jointly by Network 15 and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Caring for Your Dialysis Catheter

This tri-fold brochure about caring for a central venous catheter (CVC) and how to recognize and trouble shoot problems, is an excellent resource for patients with CVCs. 

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Hand Hygiene Saves Lives Brochure

This brochure provides information about how hand hygiene can saves lives.

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Infection Prevention in Dialysis Settings

The CDC has created a new continuing education course "Infection Prevention in Dialysis Settings" for outpatient hemodialysis healthcare workers, including technicians and nurses.

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Preventing Bloodstream Infections in Outpatient Hemodialysis Patients: Best Practices

The CDC has created a video for frontline dialysis staff along with an accompanying poster for staff and pocket card for patients that convey best practices for preventing bloodstream and other infections in hemodialysis outpatients.

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Protocol: Scrub the Hub for Hemodialysis Catheters

This protocol outlines a suggested approach to preparing catheter hubs prior to accessing the catheter for hemodialysis. It is based on evidence where available and incorporates theoretical rationale when published evidence is unavailable.

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Sepsis Zone Tool: My Plan to Identify Infection and/or Sepsis

Tthis one page tool will help you determine if you're fine, may have an infection and need to call your provider about possible infection, or are in trouble and need to call 9-1-1 in the event of sepsis.

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