National Kidney Foundation Partners with CDC to Reduce Infections in Dialysis Patients

September 27, 2016—The National Kidney Foundation is pleased to announce its partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on a new coalition designed to make dialysis safer for people with kidney disease.  The new initiative, Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition, aims to help reduce the risk of bloodstream infections among hemodialysis patients.  The CDC estimates that half of all bloodstream infections in dialysis patients could be eliminated if dialysis facilities implemented the CDC recommendations, known as the Core Interventions for Dialysis Bloodstream Infection Prevention.  More than 400,000 Americans rely on hemodialysis care to stay alive. 

“People with kidney disease, especially those on dialysis, often face a lot of difficult challenges managing their health,” said Kevin Longino, CEO of National Kidney Foundation (NKF). “Our goal as a partner in the new CDC Coalition is to help remove one of those challenges and eliminate preventable bloodstream infections in hemodialysis patients.  By engaging with dialysis facility staff, patients, and other partners—and sharing proven practices that work—together we can make real progress towards reducing infections nationwide,” added Longino, who is also a kidney patient and transplant recipient. 

Through its vast patient networks, field offices and affiliates nationwide, NKF will conduct specific initiatives to help move the needle to reducing bloodstream infections among hemodialysis patients.  Specifically, the foundation will collaborate with the CDC to review proven strategies used in the CDC Core Interventions and in the updated Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI) guidelines to align education resources and messaging; raise awareness among dialysis patients about their role in blood stream infection prevention;  identify opportunities to deliver professional education programs on proven practices to reduce blood stream infections; and seek feedback directly from both patients and professionals about their experiences in using the CDC strategies. 

“Partnering with the CDC to reduce the threat of deadly infections amongst patients on hemodialysis is an important priority for National Kidney Foundation.  Patient well-being must always be at the forefront of dialysis care; and NKF will do everything we can to ensure that patients are well-versed on the CDC recommendations so that they can be their own best advocate,” added Longino.

Facts about Dialysis

There are two types of dialysis—hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.  In hemodialysis, an artificial kidney (hemodialyzer) is used to remove waste, extra chemicals and fluid from the blood.  To get blood into the dialyzer, a doctor needs to make an access, or entrance, into the blood vessels. This is done with minor surgery, usually to the patient’s arm.  Hemodialysis can be performed in a hospital, in a dialysis center that is not part of a hospital, or at home.  On average, each hemodialysis treatment lasts about four hours and is repeated three times per week.  In peritoneal dialysis, the blood is cleaned inside the body; the lining of the abdomen acts as a natural filter.  A plastic tube, called a catheter, is inserted surgically into the abdomen (belly) to make an access. Wastes are taken out by means of a cleansing fluid called dialysate, which is washed in and out of the belly in cycles, typically three to five times per day. 

Facts about Kidney Disease

1 in 3 American adults is at risk for kidney disease.  26 million American adults have kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it.  Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, family history, and age 60+.  People of African American; Hispanic; Native American, Asian; or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease.  African Americans are 3 ½ times more likely, and Hispanics 1 ½ times more likely, to experience kidney failure.  

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney diseaseFor more information about NKF visit