Some people who are receiving dialysis treatment have virus infection such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and/or HIV that is present in their blood. These infections can be transmitted to other patients if blood is contaminated by the blood of another with a viral infection. Haemodialysis is performed by passing blood from a patient through a dialysis machine, and multiple patients receive dialysis within a dialysis unit. Therefore, there is a risk that these viruses may be transmitted around the dialysis session. This documents sets out recommendations for minimising this risk.
There are sections describing how machines and equipment should be cleaned between patients. There are also recommendations for dialysing patients with hepatitis B away from patients who do not have hepatitis B. Patients should be immunised against hepatitis B, ideally before starting dialysis if this is possible. There are guidelines on how and when to do this, for checking whether immunisation is effective, and for administering booster doses of vaccine. Finally there is a section on the measures that should be taken if a patient receiving dialysis is identified as having a new infection of hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV.