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4 Tips for Preventing Infection on Home Dialysis

Home dialysis allows you to take greater control of your care, but it also means taking greater responsibility for your own safety during treatment. Take preventative steps to help avoid infection and illness. Regardless of which home dialysis treatment you choose, there are easy and practical ways to prevent infection:

1. Keep a clean area for treatment.

Be sure to keep the treatment area in your home clean and dry. Mix 1 part household bleach and 100 parts water to clean surfaces and non-treatment items. Mix 1 part household bleach and 10 parts water to clean dialysis equipment.

2. Wash your hands thoroughly.

Seems simple, right? This easy task can go a long way in preventing infection. Scrub your hands and wrists with antibacterial soap and warm water before you begin treatments.

3. Take care of your access or catheter.

Take proper care of your access or catheter to significantly reduce your chance of infection. If you are on peritoneal dialysis (PD), always wear your mask, wash your hands thoroughly and clean your catheter before every treatment. For home hemodialysis (HHD) patients, be sure to clean your access site with antibacterial soap before you begin treatment.

4. Maintain sterile supplies.

Inspect the packaging of all your medical supplies to ensure it is sterile and ready for use. If the package looks torn or wet, do not use the supplies. Remember to only open medical supplies when you are ready to use them.

If you experience any early signs of infection, such as abdominal pain, cloudiness in drained fluids, fever or flu-like symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. If you experience urgent medical conditions, call 9-1-1.

Use these tips to help prevent infection and keep yourself as healthy as possible during your dialysis treatment. For more home dialysis information, sign up for our e-newsletters.

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