Description of a new surveillance system for bloodstream and vascular access infections in outpatient hemodialysis centers

Semin Dial. Mar-Apr 2000;13(2):97-100. doi: 10.1046/j.1525-139x.2000.00030.x.


Bloodstream and vascular access infections are a threat to hemodialysis patients. However, there are few studies of rates of such infections and there are no standardized methods for ongoing data collection. Because of frequent hospitalizations and receipt of antimicrobials, hemodialysis patients are at high risk for infection with drug-resistant bacteria. This article describes a new voluntary national surveillance system. Each month participating dialysis center personnel will record the number of chronic hemodialysis patients that they treat (broken down into four types of vascular access). A one-page form will be completed for each hospitalization or in-unit IV antimicrobial start among these patients. These data will allow calculation, stratified by type of vascular access, of several rates, including hospitalizations, in-unit IV antimicrobial starts, and vascular access infections. For individual dialysis centers, this surveillance system will provide a simple and standardized method for recording data, calculating rates, and comparing rates over time. It is hoped that collection and examination of these data will lead to quality improvement measures. For government and the medical and public health communities, aggregation of these data from many dialysis centers will provide a wealth of information that is not currently available. For further information, or to receive a protocol for this study, contact Elaine R. Miller, RN, MPH, at (404)639-6422 (telephone), (404)639-6459 or 6458 (fax), or (e-mail:). Information is also available on the CDC website at ++htm.

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Bacteremia / epidemiology*
  • Bacteremia / etiology
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects*
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Cross Infection / etiology
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Humans
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • United States