Infection control in hemodialysis units: a quick access to essential elements

Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl. 2014 May;25(3):496-519. doi: 10.4103/1319-2442.132150.


Infection is the most common cause of hospitalization and the second most common cause of mortality among hemodialysis (HD) patients, after cardiovascular disease. HD patients as well as the dialysis staff are vulnerable to contracting health-care-associated infections (HAIs) due to frequent and prolonged exposure to many possible contaminants in the dialysis environment. The extracorporeal nature of the therapy, the associated common environmental conditions and the immune compromised status of HD patients are major predisposing factors. The evident increased potential for transmission of infections in the HD settings led to the creation and implementation of specific and stricter infection prevention and control measures in addition to the usual standard precautions. Different international organizations have generated guidelines and recommendations on infection prevention and control for implementation in the HD settings. These include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Association of Professionals in Infection Control (APIC), the Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI), the European Best Practice Guidelines/European Renal Best Practice (EBPG/ERBP) and the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO). However, these guidelines are extensive and sometimes vary among different guideline-producing bodies. Our aim in this review is to facilitate the access, increase the awareness and encourage implementation among dialysis providers by reviewing, extracting and comparing the essential elements of guidelines and recommendations on infection prevention and control in HD units.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cross Infection / diagnosis
  • Cross Infection / mortality
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Cross Infection / transmission
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Hemodialysis Units, Hospital* / standards
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Infection Control / standards
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional / prevention & control
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient / prevention & control
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / immunology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Renal Dialysis / mortality
  • Renal Dialysis / standards
  • Risk Factors