One of the many lousy things about dialysis is that your life really is in the hands of dialysis techs who may or may not care about how they do their job from day to day and minute to minute.
Yesterday, the tech had to remove one of the two needles he had initially stuck me with. While preparing to re-stick me, he had me hold the gauze over the bleeding site. He did not give me a glove. I’m sure my hand did not stay free of bacteria between washing it in the restroom and getting to the dialysis chair. They ALWAYS make sure you have a glove on when you’re holding your access sites post-treatment. Holding the access site pre-treatment should been no different.
This tech is one I usually trust, more so than most of the people there. He was frustrated that he had to redo the sticking. There wasn’t time to object when he said, “Here, can you hold this?” because I would’ve started to bleed otherwise.
At the other clinic, run by the same profit-machine, an older woman nearly died from a blood infection caused by an irresponsible tech. My friend got very ill for the same reason. And, as far as I know, that tech is still working. She’s been written up “countless” times according to one source.
Bottom-line: Regardless of the mandatory posters in the lobby with bunch of phone numbers, there’s no one to report these things to such that anything meaningful will actually be done. My tech, whom I like, cut corners because he knows he can, because others are probably doing far more egregious things all the time.
I don’t let it get to me three times a week, every week, but for-profit dialysis still scares the shit out of me.
Some information on hemodialysis and infections. I am far better off with an AV fistula for access compared to a catheter, but there’s still plenty of risk.