Cleanliness Of Hospital Rooms Questioned: 7 Tips For CKD & Dialysis Patients To Avoid Disaster

"Hospitalizations are frequent among Dialysis patients," said researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This is likely due to Congestive Heart Failure (the heart doesn't pump blood as well as it should), Diabetes, fluid overload, Hypertnesion (High Blood Pressure), Pulmonary Edema ( fluid accumulation in the lungs making breathing difficult), and other complications associated with regular Dialysis. That is why it is alarming news when Hospital Rooms contain hidden bacteria causing at least one (1) in twenty-five (25) individuals to contract an infection from a hospital visit, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Luckily patients can protect themselves. 

The Wall Street Hedge reported that approximately 4% of the patients who have been hospitalized obtained an infection from the hospital in which they were admitted. As most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients would agree, this is no light matter. According to the most recent studies, in one year 720,000 patients acquired infections while in the Hospital, and over 10% (75,000) of them died from the infection. 

Recommended Reading: The Three Deadliest And Most Frequent Infections Faced By CKD Patients

The most common hospital-acquired infections include: Central line-associated bloodstream infections, Catheter-associated urinary tract infections, Clostridium Difficile (C. Diff) infections, and Surgical site infections after surgery. In fact, the very famous Celebrity Chef and Lifestyle Guru, Sandra Lee, recently acquired what has been called a "Monster Infection" after her Double Mastectomy operation. The girlfriend of New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo said, "I am a long way from where I was and a long way from where I need to be, but at this point I understand that right now I just need to complete this unexpected phase of a tough journey."

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While the Chronic Kidney Disease Community wishes Ms. Lee a prompt recovery, it is done so with the understanding that if such a high profile celebrity can be a victim to oversight then many Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients are also likely vulnerable. Typically, these infections are a result of unhygienic practices at medical facilities, and more often than not these infections could easily be prevented, mentioned the CDC. 

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Dr. Craig Umscheid (University of Philadelphia) suggested that, "disinfection of hard surfaces receives very little attention." This includes, bed rails, floors, counters, toilets and even various buttons. Experts have often said that only half of the infected surfaces are properly cleaned to remove germs. Still, Patti Costello (Executive Director of the Association for the Healthcare Environment) said that, "healthcare organizations are extremely committed to proper hygiene in such environments." While that was reassuring, Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients can take the following steps to protect themselves:

1. Always have wipes handy. In case you have to rush to the hospital be sure to keep hand wipes in a location you will remember to grab them. Wipe down any hard surfaces you come into contact with.

2. Since you are part of your health care team, do not be afraid to remind doctors and nurses about washing their hands before working with you.

3. If you have Diabetes, be sure that you and your doctor discuss the best way to control your blood sugar before, during, and after your hospital stay. High Blood Sugar increases the risk of infection noticeably.

4. If possible, ask your friends and relatives not to visit if they feel ill.

5. Don't shave! If you're getting surgery on a body part you regularly shave, allow the stubble to grow in for a few days before the procedure. Normally, the skin acts as a protective barrier against bugs, but a razor leaves a trail of nicks and micro-cuts in its wake, offering bacteria inviting entry points into the body.
6. Investigate your hospital. Find out how well your hospital has done controlling infections. Twenty-six states have laws requiring hospitals to publicly disclose their infection rates; you can find out the status of your hospital by visiting (change address to find Hospitals near your).

7.  Get out of the hospital! Every day you're in the hospital increases your risk of developing an infection.

Recommended Reading: 721 Hospitals Failed Infection Evaluation Putting Chronic Kidney Disease-Dialysis Patients At Risk

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