Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that due to the initiation of strict infection control practices among clinics and dialysis training facilities for both Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) and Hemodialysis (HD), the rate of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection among Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients undergoing dialysis has declined approximately 95%. However, repeated outbreaks of HBV infection among unvaccinated patients underscore the "continued risk" for infection in people with CKD. This is a significant concern because Hepatitis infections can become chronic more frequently in immunosuppressed patients, including people on HD and those who have received a Kidney Transplant.
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The high risk of infections in dialysis patients is due to a number of factors including the health of the person receiving dialysis (whether in clinic or at home), frequent hospital visits, the close distance of dialysis patients to each other, and the fast patient turn-over between dialysis shifts. Many dialysis patients have other health conditions and a weakened immune system which can increase susceptibility to infections, especially when infection prevention practices are not strictly followed by dialysis staff or care taker.
Infections such as Hepatitis are often linked to bacteria that enters the blood stream through your Catheter or Arteriovenous Fistula. That is why the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends universal vaccination for dialysis patients "including pre-dialysis, Hemodialysis, Peritoneal Dialysis, and Home Dialysis patients."Beyond the consistent application of standard infection prevention measures, CKD patients themselves (especially those on dialysis) should clean their access site with soap and water before every dialysis treatment as well as ask their Nephrologists for a Hepatitis B vaccine and routinely request a Hepatitis C blood test, according to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.
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"APIC | Infection Prevention outside the Hospital." Http://apic.org/. Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc.
"Hemodialysis and Viral Hepatitis: Hepatitis B Vaccination and Testing." Http://www.cdc.gov/. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.