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CDC Guidelines Could Cut Bloodstream Infections From Dialysis
Date:5/14/2013

TUESDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Dialysis facilities could cut bloodstream infection rates among their patients by up to half by following a set of recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to new research.

The CDC suggested that adopting their protocols could save lives and reduce health care costs.

"Dialysis patients often have multiple health concerns, and the last thing they need is a bloodstream infection from dialysis," CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said in an agency news release. "These infections are preventable. CDC has simple tools that dialysis facilities can use to help ensure patients have access to the safe health care they deserve."

In 2010 alone, more than 380,000 people in the United States required hemodialysis for end-stage kidney disease. In the majority of patients, this treatment is started with a central line, which is a tube that a doctor usually places in a large vein in the neck or chest. The researchers noted, however, if a central line is not placed correctly or kept clean, it can provide a portal for germs to infect the body and the blood.

Although other forms of vascular access used for hemodialysis -- such as arteriovenous fistulas and grafts -- are less risky than central lines, they can also result in bloodstream infections, the experts noted.

Over the past two decades, the rate of hospitalization for bloodstream infections has increased 51 percent. The researchers pointed out that dialysis patients are more than 100 times more likely to get a potentially deadly bloodstream infection from a common resistant bacteria, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

To address this growing public health issue, in April 2009, the CDC invited outpatient dialysis centers to participate in a collaborative project aimed at preventing bloodstream infections among dialysis patients.

Among the CDC's guidelines:

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