Infections are the second highest cause of death among Dialysis patients in the United States, behind sudden death which is usually related to Cardiovascular (Heart) Disease. However in many cases, according to Nephrology News, "the root cause of infections is man-made," since the risk increases when Patient Care Technicians, Nurses, and other staff members do not "follow basic universal precautions: washing their hands, changing gloves, and wiping down and disinfecting chairs and Dialysis equipment properly." That is why it is alarming when 25% of the hospitals in the United States have not implemented necessary hand hygiene strategies to reduce Hospital-Acquired Infections.
Recommended Reading: The Three Deadliest And Most Frequent Infections Faced By CKD Patients
Simply by using Infection Prevention Guidelines, infections in Dialysis patients can decrease by 32% suggested the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC also noted that "hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of Hospital-Acquired Infections.
A recent report released by The Leapfrog Group and Castlight Health determined that nearly a quarter of hospitals were unsatisfactory in the following areas:
- Implementing hospital-wide hand-hygiene education.
- Creating policies and procedures to prevent Hospital-Acquired conditions because of improper hand hygiene.
- Developing and monitoring performance-improvement initiatives related to the prevention of Hospital-Acquired Infections.
- Holding leadership accountable for hand hygiene.
Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients should know that along with the fact that they are at a higher risk for infection, approximately 1 in every 25 patients acquire an infection while checked into a hospital, and 10% of those patients die as a result. In terms of Dialysis Clinics, an Alabama Fresenius Medical Care unit was closed in 2013 due to an infection outbreak which killed two (2) patients and sent three (3) to the hospital. After a review, it was found that the infection outbreak was attributed to a lack of staffing and the experience necessary "to provide safe patient care,” said Nephrology News.
Ultimately, Dialysis patients often have multiple health concerns, and the last thing they need is an otherwise avoidable infection from Dialysis Clinics or the Hospitals. While patients trust their Healthcare Team to make them well, they must also realize that many infections are caused by the "contaminated hands of Healthcare workers," according to Jennifer Schneider (Castlight Health).
Protect yourself! The most at risk population for Hospital-Acquired Infections live in Wyoming, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Mexico, and Missouri. Still, no matter where you live, fill out the below form to access the 2014 Leapfrog Hospital Survey Results and determine the safety of your hospital in particular. Also, make sure that your Healthcare Team washes their hands and changes their gloves before interacting with you in any way. It is not pushy or rude to ask if a Medical Professional has washed his/her hands as this could mean life and death for some patients.
Share your voice. Does your Dialysis and/or Hospital staff always wash their hands and change their gloves? How do you protect yourself? Share your answers on the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page which already has over 23,100 Friends. Also, for the latest news and information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetes how to better manage and improve their lives visit KidneyBuzz.com every day.