Kidney Health Australia - Caring for Australasians with Renal Impairment guideline recommendations for infection control for haemodialysis units

Nephrology (Carlton). 2019 Sep;24(9):951-957. doi: 10.1111/nep.13511. Epub 2019 Apr 29.


Aim: There is no national consensus on infection control in haemodialysis units in Australia and New Zealand. The primary aim of this guideline was to provide recommendations on screening for blood-borne viruses and multi-resistant organisms for dialysis units based on the available evidence.

Methods: The Kidney Health Australia Caring for Australasians with Renal Impairment guidelines, overall approach to guideline development follows the GRADE framework. A facilitated workshop was conducted to ensure that patient and caregiver concerns were considered. The evidence from relevant medical databases on the impact of screening on detection and transmission rates, hospitalization, mortality and psychosocial care, was reviewed and critically appraised. The guideline group made recommendations from the evidence available.

Results: The main guideline recommendations are: Dialysis units adopt a comprehensive approach that encompasses standard infection control precautions. Conduct routine surveillance for key blood-borne viruses and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Conduct routine surveillance of individual levels of protection against hepatitis B for patients on haemodialysis. Use dedicated dialysis machines for HBV-infected patients. The evidence in totality was not found to support routine surveillance of vancomycin-resistant Enterococci . Enhanced surveillance in light of the local risk of transmittable infectious agents should be considered by dialysis units. Very few studies have reported on the potential adverse effects of screening and associated practices.

Conclusions: Future research should focus on the potential benefits and adverse effects of screening and associated practices on clinical outcomes including infections prevented and health service delivery, and psychosocial domains for patients. Given the results of trials in the critical setting, the effectiveness of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus decolonization in people receiving dialysis therapy warrants further research.

Keywords: blood borne virus; haemodialysis; infectious disease; multidrug resistant organism; practice guideline.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Consensus
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards
  • Hemodialysis Units, Hospital / standards*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / standards*
  • Kidney Diseases / diagnosis
  • Kidney Diseases / mortality
  • Kidney Diseases / therapy*
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification*
  • Nephrology / standards*
  • New Zealand
  • Renal Dialysis* / adverse effects
  • Renal Dialysis* / mortality
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Staphylococcal Infections / blood
  • Staphylococcal Infections / diagnosis
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / transmission
  • Virus Diseases / blood
  • Virus Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Virus Diseases / transmission
  • Virus Diseases / virology