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Avoiding Infection As A Dialysis Patient

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It’s estimated that 10 percent of the world’s population is affected by kidney disease and millions die due to a lack of treatment or no treatment at all. Although dialysis is a debilitating disease, patients are still able to do many of the things they enjoy doing. However, they also need to make some important lifestyle changes in order to ensure their safety. One of the most important concerns many dialysis patients have about dialysis treatment is how to avoid infection while undergoing either in-home dialysis treatment or treatment at a dialysis center. Keep reading to learn a few helpful tips.

Communicate

As a dialysis patient, maintaining open lines of communication to your doctor, caretakers, and family members is very important. Unfortunately, many dialysis-related deaths could have been prevented with more communication and better care. Infections that result from poor sanitation can further disable patients, prolong illness, or increase the cost of treatment and even lead to death. According to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, among hemodialysis patients, infection is the second leading cause of death. By communicating any concerns you have to your doctor or caretaker, they’ll be able to provide for you more easily.

Clean Frequently

Dialysis patients and their caretakers should spend a lot of time cleaning before and after a dialysis treatment. As a patient, you should clean your fistula site with soap and water before each treatment as well as washing your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer before and after treatment. If you use a catheter, ensure that you wear a mask while your caregiver is connecting it to the machine. This will prevent any germs from reaching it. If you’re still concerned about infection, speak with a nurse or doctor, and let them know immediately if you experience a fever, nausea, or fatigue.

Stay Alert

Another thing you should take note of is any change to the normal routine. For example, patients who change locations frequently — especially moving in and out of hospitals — may be more susceptible to catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Try to stay more consistent with your dialysis treatment to avoid these infections.

Use Proper Easy Access Clothing

If you are undergoing dialysis or chemotherapy treatment, you need clothing that’s adapted to your new lifestyle. This clothing allows medical specialists to easily access certain parts of your body via dialysis catheter or other medical devices. Easy access clothing is designed to be comfortable and loose fitting so that it doesn’t irritate any sensitive areas. And because you won’t be taking your clothes off and putting it on again after treatment, you’ll reduce your risk of infection.

Here at Hemowear, we offer a large variety of easy access clothing for both men and women including t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, hoodies, and more. We even offer peritoneal belts (PD belts). This belt is used by thousands of patients and helps to keep catheter tubes and transfer units secure and stable during treatment. Give us a call if you have any questions.  

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