Making Dialysis Safer for Patients

Imagine going through dialysis treatment for kidney disease and then finding out you have a potentially deadly bloodstream infection acquired during your treatment. Unfortunately, an estimated 37,000 people are affected by these infections each year.

To help address the issue of dialysis patient safety, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that they are teaming up with a broad coalition of kidney and dialysis organizations to reduce the number of bloodstream infections in dialysis patients. The new initiative, known as the Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition, aims to significantly expand the use of CDC recommendations and tools to improve dialysis patient safety nationwide.

The coalition aims to decrease bloodstream infections among dialysis patients by promoting the use of CDC’s Core Interventions for Dialysis Bloodstream Infection Prevention. CDC is also providing facilities with a package of resources that includes checklists, audit tools, how-to videos, continuing education training and patient resources.

As part of this initiative, coalition partners have committed to educating their membership and staff, raising awareness among patients and healthcare providers about the importance of infection prevention, helping to implement CDC recommendations in dialysis facilities and sharing best practices. The coalition also is working with dialysis delivery organizations to accelerate the implementation of CDC recommendations.

Today, I am glad to be able to attend a meeting hosted by CDC to officially launch this coalition. During this meeting, dialysis organizations will work together and with CDC to identify strategies, barriers and solutions to implementing recommended bloodstream infection prevention measures. I look forward to seeing the impact of this public health protection initiative.

We are very grateful to Amgen for stepping forward to support this project that will help extend the reach of CDC’s proven resources aimed at preventing bloodstream infections from dialysis treatment. Working together, we can do so much more than any of us can do alone.

Brandon Talley, MPH, is the vice president for programs for the CDC Foundation.