Dialysis Facts

  • More than 400,000 patients on dialysis in the US 
  • More than 100,000 dialysis catheters in use 
  • 5 episodes of catheter related bacteremia per 1,000 catheter-days 
  • Infection is the 2nd leading cause of death in dialysis patients 
  • 20% chance of mortality with every episode of catheter related blood stream infection
  • Dialysis patients with catheters are advised not to shower for months
  • 2 to 3 times higher infection risk compared to AV Fistula use Hospitalization rate for infections >> cardiovascular 
  • Average cost per catheter infection hospitalization: $55,000 
  • $1.5 billion spent annually by Medicare on treating catheter infections 
  • Hand washing and daily showers are shown to decrease infections and MRSA
  • Center for Disease Control (CDC): Do not submerge the catheter or catheter exit site in water. Showering should be permitted if precautions can be taken to reduce the likelihood of introducing organisms into the catheter (e.g., if the catheter and connecting device are protected with an impermeable cover during the shower) [90 – 92]. Category IB

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