Infection – The Second Most Common Cause of Mortality in Dialysis Patients
Infection is the first cause of hospitalization and the second most common cause of mortality in dialysis patients. While there are many reasons why dialysis patients have an increased risk of infection, 4 of the most common are:
- Prolonged blood exposure during treatments through vascular access (mainly catheters) and extra-corporeal circuit (with many ports and connections)
- Improper cleansing of the exit site at the catheter
- Frequent contact with other patients and healthcare workers who move between patients and machines
- Non-adherence of recommended practices, specifically handwashing and surface disinfection
Choosing the right exit site, catheter, hand sanitizer, and environmental disinfectant are key to reducing the risk of infection and the complications and mortality they cause.