You can take an active role in preventing infections. It is important for you to speak up if you have questions or concerns about your care.
Infections (including those affecting the bloodstream) are the second leading cause of death among hemodialysis patients. Handwashing is the most important and simplest way to prevent the spread of infection between patients and staff. Staff caring for you must know when to wash their hands, wear and change their gloves, and wipe down the equipment between patient shifts.
Immunizations for Dialysis Patients
Another important way to prevent infectious diseases is by being immunized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following immunizations for dialysis and transplant patients: Influenza, Pneumoccocal Pneumonia, Hepatitis B, and COVID-19. The costs of immunizations are covered for Medicare patients.
Learn more about preventing infections
Dialysis Patients Speak is a short video that teaches you what to look for in your care to prevent infection.
6 Tips to Prevent Dialysis Infections is a pocket card with simple steps you can take to prevent infections.
What immunizations do I need? is a brochure from the National Kidney Foundation that covers which vaccinations you should have and what risks you face by not getting vaccinated.
Resources for Infection Control
Midwest Kidney Network & IPRAT Infection Control Webinar - July 2022
Visit the CDC Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition for posters, checklists and fact sheets for use in provider's offices, dialysis clinics, training sessions, and work areas.
View the CDC Infection Control Assessment Tools for a variety care settings including outpatient dialysis.
View additional CDC Infection Control Resources: NHSN Process Measures, and Core Interventions
Visit the AHRQ ESRD Toolkit page for instructional modules that you can use to teach dialysis center team members specific ways to create a culture of safety.
Videos on Infection Control
Preventing Bloodstream Infections for OP Dialysis Patients
Making Dialysis Safer: Infections in Dialysis Centers