Staying Healthy,
Thriving On Dialysis

Did you know that a healthy lifestyle can help make your dialysis treatments more effective? Feeling better means doing more—and enjoying more. Read on for simple steps to eat healthy, stay active and manage your weight while on dialysis. Plus, learn tips for making the most of your time during treatment, managing your health and thriving.

"I love going to Lake Okeechobee. I still do the things I like to do."

—Ron
On dialysis since March 2015

WATCH RON'S STORY

Avoiding Infections While on Dialysis

Your treatment team is trained to help prevent infection by taking steps throughout the dialysis process to keep your environment and equipment clean. End stage renal disease (ESRD) can interfere with your body's natural immune system and make you prone to infections—which is why best practices in cleanliness and disinfection are so important.

Precautions your treatment team use 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a set of standard precautions for your treatment team to follow in order to prevent dialysis infection:
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Wear clean gowns, disposable gloves, face shields and masks, including protective eyewear, when starting your dialysis treatment and later when disconnecting the dialysis machine from your access (fistula, graft or catheter)
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Wear disposable gloves, face shields and masks, including protective eyewear, when doing procedures involving your access
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Change gloves after beginning a treatment, before touching any surface such as dialysis machines, charts and phones and after each person they visit
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Wash hands when entering dialysis treatment areas, before putting on gloves and after removing them
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Clean and disinfect the treatment area between shifts
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Maintain separate areas for "clean" (e.g., medication prep) and "soiled" (e.g., blood samples) items
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Do a blood test for hepatitis B and C on all new people in your care and do routine follow-up testing on people who are susceptible
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Use a separate room and a dedicated dialysis machine, and avoid dialyzer reuse for people who are positive for hepatitis B

Avoiding infection while on at-home dialysis

If you’re performing at-home dialysis, you should follow these steps to avoid infection outlined by your at-home dialysis nurse, including:

  1. Perform dialysis in a clean space in your home
  2. Wear a mask if you’re on at-home peritoneal dialysis
  3. Wash and dry your hands and your access site
  4. Safely dispose of any needles, syringes or medical waste

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