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Kidney Disease
                                                                          — A Guide for Patients

        PREVENTING INFECTION                                  Infection complications associated with
        The human body has developed general and              haemodialysis treatment
        specific defences against infection. General          Haemodialysis treatment is known to be a risk
        defences protect the body against all infections      for:
        and examples include skin, secretions such as tears,   1. Bacterial infections associated with access,
        cilia (tiny hairs), which filter air entering the lungs,  i.e., catheters, fistulas and grafts.
        and body washings, such as flow of urine from the      2. Blood borne viral infections (hepatitis B, C
        bladder, which washes away bacteria with the              and very rarely HIV).
           Specific defences develop when the body's
        immune system produces antibodies against             Access infections
        certain diseases. These antibodies develop after an      See chapter 4 (Book 2 -  Haemodialysis and
        infection (e.g., chicken pox) or after vaccination    Peritoneal Dialysis - A Guide for Patients) for
        (e.g., whooping cough, rubella) and ensure that       detailed information on infection associated with
        infection or re-infection very rarely occur.          access.
           People with kidney disease have an immune
        system that does not work as efficiently as normal.
        In addition, some complications of common illness     Blood borne infections associated with
        such as pneumonia after flu can be dangerous for      haemodialysis (HD)
        people with kidney disease. However, everyone can        Outbreaks of viral blood infections (Hepatitis B
        assist his or her natural immune system preventing    and C) have happened in haemodialysis units. As
        infection by:                                         a result, our unit takes infection control very
                                                              seriously indeed and make every effort to reduce
         ● Eating a well balanced diet and taking regular
            exercise                                          the risk to an absolute minimum.
         ● Good general hygiene will help keep the skin
            in good condition                                    The measures include the following:
         ● Regular hand washing, especially before             ● All patients are screened on admission and
            eating, and after using the toilet                    routinely for hepatitis B & C & HIV
         ● Attending for regular check-ups with your           ● All staff are vaccinated against hepatitis B
            kidney specialist and GP will ensure that your     ● All patients are strongly recommended to be
            kidney function and general health are                vaccinated against hepatitis B
            maintained                                         ● Patients with known infections are treated in
         ● Attending your GP or the kidney unit                   single rooms, on special machines.
            promptly if you are not feeling well
                                                                 All equipment used, on each patient, is either
        INFECTIONS AND KIDNEY DISEASE                         disposed of after each use or cleaned and
           People with kidney disease are vulnerable to the   disinfected after every use.
        same infections as the general population,  such as
        flu, measles and mumps. However, they are more        Infection complications associated with
        vulnerable to certain infections due to the           Transplantation
        treatments used (haemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis      See chapter 8 (Book 3 - Kidney Transplantation
        and transplantation) and due to regular hospital      - A Guide for Patients) for information on infection,
        admissions (MRSA, VRE, and C.Difficle).               associated with transplantation.

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