As there is a high risk of indirect and direct transmission of infectious agents in chronic hemodialysis, infection control procedures should be established in dialysis units. This paper presents the findings of a questionnaire designed to survey the current status of infection control procedures in hemodialysis settings. Two hundred and forty-three hemodialysis units in Japan were surveyed. Nearly 90% of hemodialysis units reported compliance with each procedure recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, including use of disposable gloves, handling of non-disposable or non-single-use items, and routine serological testing of blood-borne viruses. However, more than 50% of units reported that they did not comply with recommendations concerning some procedures, such as places for preparing medications and their delivery, clean areas in the units, vaccination for hepatitis B, and additional measures for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBs-Ag) positive patients. Especially, the concept of universal precautions seemed to be misunderstood in units with a high prevalence of anti-hepatitis C antibody-positive (anti-HCV Ab-positive) patients. In conclusion, further intensive education and training will be necessary to establish infection control procedures.
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