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Avoiding Infection While on Dialysis

Dialysis can dampen your immunity, therefore being aware of infection prevention is important. Some people on dialysis may be more likely to get an infection due to the vulnerability of their access site or other health conditions like diabetes. People living with kidney disease are also at greater risk for complications related to illnesses like the flu and pneumonia.

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor. Early diagnosis and consistent treatment are key to controlling the condition.

How to avoid infection?

Practice good hygiene

washing your hands often or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can help prevent infection.

Care for your access properly

it’s important to follow your care team’s exact instructions on how to care for your dialysis access site.

Get vaccinated

 it’s important to get vaccinated as recommended by your doctor or nurse.

Keep up with treatment for all health conditions

taking all of your medications and completing all treatments exactly as prescribed can protect your health.

When to do hand hygiene?

Arriving in the unit

Before sitting down for treatment

Wash your hands and your access (fistula or graft) before your treatment. This helps to keep your access and surrounding skin clean before the care team inserts the needles into your access.

Before you apply pressure on your access site

Use the hand rub supplied to clean your hands. Ask the care team for some gloves and wear them when holding off your sites.

After holding your access site or removing the gloves

Before and after eating

After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing

After using the restroom

Steps for washing your access before treatment

1. Wet access arm after hand wash

2. Take a small amount of soap

3. Apply liquid soap onto access arm

4. Rub soap into access arm in circular motion for one minute

5. Rinse off soap completely

6. Dry access arm with paper towel

Other steps to maintain good hygiene in the dialysis center

Report to your care team if you have any signs or symptoms of infection, or if you have a cold or flu.

Keep your clothes clean and change them regularly. Clothes may also transfer germs.

Don’t share food with others while in the center in order to avoid cross contamination.

Keep your bags away from the dialysis machines, trolleys, and garbage bins.

Use the treatment equipment assigned to you.

Do not touch the contents of garbage bins.


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