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Combatting Hospital-Acquired Infections in Kidney Patients: An Imperative Approach on World Kidney Day

World Kidney Day, observed on March 14th, presents an indispensable opportunity to accentuate the significance of renal health and the complexities of its management, which transcends beyond just adequate nutrition. An often-overlooked aspect of kidney health management is the menace of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), especially to those undergoing surgical or therapeutic procedures. It raises the question: what steps can be taken to counter or lessen the risk of hospital infections?

Patients with kidney ailments are especially susceptible to HAIs due to their weakened immune system. Alarming data from numerous studies signals a high frequency of HAIs in Indian healthcare facilities, with surgical-site infections and pneumonia emerging as the most common perpetrators. This risk intensifies for patients combating end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or hospital-acquired acute kidney injury (HAAKI), with the grim reality painted by distressingly high mortality rates.

Dr. Atul Mohan Kochhar, CEO of NABH, provides insight into the alarming mortality rates attributed to HAIs in kidney patients. He explains that these rates exhibit variations across different hospital environments, underlining the demand for tailored interventions and meticulous surveillance. In intensive care units (ICUs), HAAKI-related mortality rates can skyrocket to an astonishing 73.5%. Surgical and medical units also face their unique challenges, firmly establishing the detrimental impact of infections on patient outcomes.

Additionally, a study on community-acquired acute kidney injury in India found a mortality rate of 10.8% during the initial admission, while 8.2% of the survivors still exhibited residual renal damage three months post-admission.So, how can we combat HAIs effectively? Dr. Mohan emphasizes the need for implementing certain essential procedures to mitigate the risk of these infections. He underscores that these strategies form the backbone of an exhaustive infection prevention and control program, tasked with minimizing HAIs amongst both patients and healthcare providers.


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