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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 1 (1990), Issue 1, Pages 11-14
Original Article

Increased Risk of Bacteremia in Patients Hemodialyzed Through Central Catheters

Geoffrey Taylor, Teresa Kirkland, and Peter Hamilton

University of Alberta Hospitals, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Received 25 January 1990; Accepted 3 April 1990

Copyright © 1990 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


As part of an ongoing prospective survey of nosocomial bacteremias, patients developing bacteremia while undergoing in-centre hemodialysis were observed over a 23 month period. Thirty-six episodes of bacteremia occurred in 30 patients: every episode was directly attributable to hemodialysis. In 28 of the 36 episodes (78%), there was evidence of inflammation with or without drainage of pus at the hemodialysis access site. Staphylococcus aureus accounted for 76% of the bacteremic isolates. Patients hemodialyzing through central venous catheters had a far higher incidence of bacteremia (0.01 per dialysis run) than patients hemodialyzing through vascular grafts (0.0005 per dialysis run).