Hepatitis C and hemodialysis – American Kidney Fund (AKF)

Hepatitis C and hemodialysis - American Kidney Fund (AKF)
April 28, 2021 0 Comments

The commonest type of therapy for end-stage renal illness (ESRD, or kidney failure) is hemodialysis. In case your medical facility doesn’t observe pointers for an infection management in the appropriate approach, it’s doable to get hepatitis C from doing hemodialysis.


Hemodialysis (also referred to as dialysis) is a course of that makes use of a machine to scrub your blood. Dialysis does a few of the work that your kidneys did after they have been wholesome. Throughout a hemodialysis therapy:

  1. Your blood travels by means of tubes out of your physique into the dialysis machine.
  2. Whereas your blood is within the machine, it goes by means of a filter referred to as a dialyzer, which removes waste and further fluid.
  3. As soon as it has been cleaned, your blood travels by means of tubes from the dialysis machine again into your physique. 

When you’re doing dialysis, additionally it is frequent to be given medicines orally (by mouth) or by injection into your bloodstream. You may additionally have assessments completed, which may contain a blood draw.

Hepatitis C in dialysis facilities

The hepatitis C virus is unfold by means of the blood of an contaminated individual. Throughout hemodialysis, you should be injected with a needle so your blood can move into the dialysis machine. Many instances you could get different pictures of medicines or have blood assessments completed throughout your dialysis session. Any time a needle is used to take blood, there’s a probability the blood (even a really small quantity) can get on a floor or an object the place it’s not presupposed to be. If the blood of a affected person with hepatitis C touches a floor or an object, and the floor or object shouldn’t be cleaned in the appropriate approach, a contamination can occur.

If provides or tools used to your dialysis therapy are contaminated with (touched by) blood contaminated with hepatitis C, you possibly can get the hepatitis C virus.

Your probability of getting hepatitis C from hemodialysis is small as a result of dialysis facilities are required to observe strict security guidelines that preserve contaminations from taking place.

If these security guidelines are damaged, hepatitis C can unfold throughout hemodialysis by means of:

  • Contamination of medicines
  • Contamination of the medication provide cart used to carry medicines from affected person to affected person
  • Contamination of the dialysis machine
  • Contamination of needles or vials (small containers used to carry medicines)
  • Contamination of gloves utilized by nurse or physician to deal with sufferers

Stopping hepatitis C in dialysis facilities

Medical professionals that work in dialysis facilities are required to take an infection management trainings and are required to observe protected practices. Among the security suggestions for dialysis heart workers to observe for stopping hepatitis C in dialysis facilities are to:

  • Use just one vial (small container used to carry medicines) per affected person.
  • By no means mix medicines left-over in vials from a number of sufferers.
  • By no means use the identical needle or syringe (the tube connected to the needle for injecting medicines) for a number of sufferers.
  • By no means use the identical intravenous (IV) answer (baggage of fluid) for a number of sufferers.
  • All the time disinfect provides or tools used throughout therapies that contain blood.
  • Preserve clear supplies bodily separate from supplies that may very well be contaminated with blood.
  • Put together medicines for sufferers in an area that’s bodily separate from areas that may very well be contaminated with blood.
  • All the time placed on new gloves between sufferers.
  • Wash fingers within the right approach after touching something that may very well be contaminated by blood.

Though getting hepatitis C in a dialysis heart shouldn’t be quite common, docs suggest dialysis sufferers get examined recurrently. If you’re beginning hemodialysis, most facilities will take a look at you for hepatitis C earlier than your first therapy. You may anticipate to be examined for hepatitis C about each 6-12 months for so long as you’re doing in-center hemodialysis.

Peritoneal dialysis

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is one other kind of dialysis that’s often completed at house. PD makes use of the liner of your stomach (stomach space), referred to as your peritoneum, and a cleansing answer referred to as dialysate to scrub your blood. Throughout peritoneal dialysis, blood by no means comes out of your physique prefer it does throughout hemodialysis. This is the reason there’s much less danger for getting hepatitis C when doing peritoneal dialysis.

Reporting a security concern

For those who ever really feel involved in regards to the security practices in your dialysis heart, you’ll be able to inform a workers member. If you don’t want to inform somebody at your heart, you’ll be able to contact your state’s ESRD community or State Division of Well being to file a grievance (submit a criticism). By no means really feel afraid to talk up about one thing you suppose shouldn’t be proper. It might defend you, and others. To contact your ESRD community or State Division of Well being, observe the hyperlinks under.

ESRD Networks:


State Division of Well being:


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