Chronic Kidney Disease & Diabetics, Especially Who Conduct Dialysis, Should Be On Heightened Alert

The United States Renal Data System (USRDS) has found that infections are a leading cause of mortality (death) in those with Chronic Kidney Disease, specifically Dialysis patients at End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Are you surprised? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a bit more specific, "Infections are the second leading cause of death among Hemodialysis patients." Diabetics are also at an increased risk of infections because high levels of glucose (sugar in blood) prevent patients' white blood cells (main defenses against infection) from working effectively. 

Recommended Reading: New Treatment To Combat Deadliest Infection In Chronic Kidney Disease Patients, But Is It Too Disgusting?

With new developments in the spread of serious diseases, Chronic Kidney Disease patients, those with Diabetes and especially individuals who conduct Dialysis, should remain on heightened alert.  Accounting for approximately 15% of all fatalities, an infection occurs when harmful bacteria or viruses enter the body. According to the Large Dialysis Organization, Davita HealthCare Partners Inc., "germs can enter the body in a variety of ways: through touch (skin), through the air we breathe or through our mouths." 

Recommended Reading: Dialysis Patients should Insist that Staff follow protocols to Reduce Acquired Infections

It should not be a cause of panic, but recently it has been announced that the Liberian Ebola victim, Thomas Eric Duncan, transmitted the virus to a nurse that was caring for him, Nina Pham. Although Pham took basic precautions while treating Duncan, she still contracted the severe virus, Ebola. Dallas News reported, that among the 1 or 2 "particularly high-risk" procedures for transmitting the virus was "Kidney Dialysis." 

Recommended Reading: Life Threatening Infections Decreasing In One Group of Chronic Kidney Disease Patients But Not Other

The reason this should not cause Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetic patients to panic is because Ebola is a very unlikely disease to contract especially in the United States. As you know, however, it is still very easy to pick up other serious (and potentially deadly) infections as a Chronic Kidney Disease or Diabetes patient; particularly those who are on Dialysis. Simple ways for patients to limit their risk of infections are eating nutritious foods, keeping your Dialysis Access site clean, reporting any signs of infection to your Primary Physician/Nephrologist right away (even if it seems like just the cold or flu), washing your hands, and demanding that Healthcare Professionals wash their hands and change their gloves. 

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While many Dialysis Patient Care Technicians and other Healthcare Professionals are very diligent, still receives emails regularly from patients who are having difficulty with non-compliant Dialysis Staff or other members of their Healthcare Team. I am sure that you would agree that now, more than ever before, is the time to ensure that the best possible safety precautions are taken to protect those with Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetes, right? Hence, there is always room for improvement. Take action by signing and sharing the below petition which will be delivered to Healthcare Organizations across the country asking them to take direct steps to remind their staff to wash their hands, and change their gloves after interacting with each patient to improve the overall safety for Chronic Kidney Disease, Diabetes, and Dialysis patients. Also, "If you see something, say something."

Recommended Reading: Could "White Coats" Be Inadvertently Spreading Hospital Acquired Infections To Their CKD Patients?

For the most Breaking News & Information about how Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetics can better manage their lives, visit - your trusted resource - every day. 

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"Non-access-related Infections in Chronic Dialysis Patients."Http:// UpToDate Marketing Professional.

"Patient Information." Http:// Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Infections and Chronic Kidney Disease." Http:// DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.

Yan, Holly. "American Nurse with Protective Gear Gets Ebola; How Could This Happen?" Http:// Cable News Network.

"Probe Launched into How Nurse Was Exposed to Ebola."Http:// The Dallas Morning News.