Special Article: National Surveillance of Dialysis-Associated Diseases in the United States, 2001

Authors

  • Jerome I. Tokars,

    1. National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Lyn Finelli,

    Corresponding author
    1. National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Miriam J. Alter,

    1. National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Matthew J. Arduino

    1. National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, Georgia
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Lyn Finelli, DrPH, MS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd. NE, Mailstop G-37, Atlanta, GA 30333, or e-mail: LFinelli@cdc.gov.

ABSTRACT

In December 2001, all U.S. chronic hemodialysis (HD) centers were surveyed regarding selected patient care practices and dialysis-associated diseases. The results were compared with similar surveys conducted in previous years. During 1997–2001, the percentage of patients vaccinated against hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection increased from 47% to 60% and the percentage of staff vaccinated increased from 87% to 89%. In 2001, an estimated 65% of patients had been vaccinated for influenza and 26% for pneumococcal pneumonia. In 2001, routine testing for antibody to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) was performed on staff at 42% of centers and on patients at 62% of centers; anti-HCV was found in 1.5% of staff and 8.6% of patients. In 2001, the incidence of HBV infection was higher among patients in centers where injectable medications were prepared at the dialysis station, and both HCV prevalence and incidence were higher among patients in centers where injectable medications were prepared at the dialysis station compared to a dedicated medication room. During 1995–2001, the percentage of patients who received dialysis through central catheters increased from 13% to 25%; this trend is worrisome, as infections and antimicrobial use are higher among patients receiving dialysis through catheters. However, during the same period, the percentage of patients receiving dialysis through fistulas increased from 22% to 30%. In 2001, 25% of catheters were used for new patients awaiting an arteriovenous (AV) access, 28% for established patients with a failed access awaiting new AV access, 40% as an access of last resort, and 6% for other reasons, including patient preference. The percentage of centers reporting one or more patients infected or colonized with vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) increased from 12% in 1995 to 31% in 2001.

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