What can you do to avoid getting cross infections?

(Cross posted from the Dialysis in India website)

Yesterday I wrote about how cross infection is a very serious problem facing dialyzors today. Who wants to deal with another chronic, life-threatening condition? Today, I am going to discuss what we can do to prevent this.

The best solution of course, is to dialyze at home. When you dialyze at home there is very little exposure you have to possible sources of cross infection. Peritoneal dialysis is anyway, usually done at home. It is also possible to do hemodialysis at home. There are many people in India too who do hemo at home. However, you need to be fairly meticulous and proactive about your health to do this. This is definitely the best way to prevent cross infections.

If, however, you feel home dialysis is not for you, then you should go to a center that follows the CDC guidelines strictly. Make sure that the center does not use common trolleys for starting and closing dialysis sessions, does not use the same betadine, spirit, plasters, gauze and other disposables among diferent patients, has separate sections for positive and negative patients, disinfects machines after every session and is generally clean and hygienic. Nephroplus at Hyderabad is one such center. (Disclaimer: I have no financial association with the company and do not make any money if I refer patients there!)

In your dialysis center, avoid reusing dialyzers and tubings if you can afford using a new set every session. If you cannot, then atleast try to avoid reusing tubings. Reuse processing is a major source of cross infections. If you must reuse both dialyzer and tubings, ask if the center has separate washing rooms for positive and negative sets. Insist that the tech or nurse who is starting or stopping your session uses a fresh pair of gloves.

Evaluate your center and change if you are not happy with their cross infection prevention measures. No amount of caution is really enough in this matter.