New tools to reduce infection in renal units

Armen Hareyan's picture
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A new toolkit presented by the new Renal Tsar - World Kidney Day - advises staff on the steps they can take to minimise the risk of MRSA bloodstream infections in renal dialysis.

The new Renal Tsar joined the Inspector of Microbiology today in addressing almost 300 renal professionals on the importance of minimising the risk of healthcare associated infections like MRSA in renal medicine.

Renal dialysis patients are one of the groups at high risk - currently, approximately eight per cent get an MRSA bloodstream infection. The Safer Practice in Renal Medicine toolkit and High Impact Intervention for renal dialysis care, endorsed by the British Renal Society, will help guide NHS staff working hard to improve quality and safety for renal dialysis patients and contribute to halving MRSA bloodstream infections by 2008.

This comes at the same time as the Hospital Infection Society publish the Third Prevalence Survey of Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs) in Acute Trusts, which shows a prevalence rate of 8.2 per cent in England. The Study was funded by the Department of Health and although not directly comparable to the 1993 prevalence study, this does show a decrease from 9.0 per cent at a time when the NHS is treating more people with more complex procedures. The 2006 study also takes into account more types of infection.

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Speaking from the Reducing Healthcare Associated Infections in Renal Medicine event Prof Brian Duerden said:

"Better surveillance of healthcare associated infections has enabled us to focus on areas of greater risk. We now have more information about how to help reduce MRSA bloodstream infections in renal patients. By embedding good infection prevention and control across renal units, this toolkit will help NHS staff improve reliability and safety across renal services - and the whole organisation towards safe and clean care. These tools enable renal staff to make their contribution towards their trusts goal of a 50% reduction in MRSA bacteraemia.

"The HPA Mandatory enhanced surveillance system for MRSA is considered as one of the best in the world and we have extended this to improve monitoring in renal services. The data collection system helps renal units to track their quality improvement."

New Renal Tsar Donal O'Donoghue said:

"The safety of patients and the quality of the care they receive in and beyond renal units is paramount. NHS staff are already working hard to ensure high-quality care for renal patients - helping patients to start dialysis in a planned way which reduces the risk of infection.

"This safer practice initiative directly links with the Renal NSF that identifies early detection of kidney disease and planned multiprofessional care in the year before dialysis as key priorities. Starting dialysis in a planned fashion greatly reduces MRSA and other HCAI for kidney patients."

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