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Traveling While on Dialysis Could Be Risky

Chances of infection, anemia and more go up, study finds

FRIDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Travel can jeopardize the health of people on dialysis, a U.K. study has found.

Researchers at the Imperial College Kidney and Transplant Institute in London analyzed health information on 69 dialysis patients who had traveled in Europe, the Middle East, India, the United States, Africa, the Pacific Rim and South Asia.

One person died while traveling, two people damaged or lost their fistulas or grafts (surgically created sites used to connect dialysis tubes to the bloodstream), seven required blood transfusions soon after they came home and several people acquired bloodstream infections.

The researchers concluded that dialysis patients who travel are at greatly increased risk for infection, loss of access to the vascular system and anemia.

"Many patients wish to travel freely around the world," study author Claire Edwards said in a news release from the American Society of Nephrology. "This study empowers patients with information in order for them to make choices about their lifestyle."

The study was to be presented Oct. 30 at the society's annual meeting in San Diego.

More information

The National Kidney Foundation has more about dialysis.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Society of Nephrology, news release, Oct. 30, 2009

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