just wondering how sterile do you keep the room you dialyze any special cleaning you do for that room that you dont do in others?and how often you do wrip down you machine after ever treatment. and those on fresineus machine how ofter do you clean out the acid jug?

I haven’t ever cleaned the acid jug. Wipe the machine, tables and trays I use every day with bleach water. Also I wipe off the phone, my betadine bottle, my heparin bottles, the tops of my antibacterial soap bottles. I wipe the timer I use and even the remote control on the TV I listen too while setting up and anything else I use that is wipeable. I wash for 3 minutes whenever I start, wash again for 3 minutes when I soak the catheter, wash again for 3 minutes when I connect dad. I believe one could say I am a little obsessive. Bleach the bicarb jug once a week.

My disinfecting of surfaces and dialysis machine task is made much easier because my hospital supplies those super peroxide wipes, same as they use at the dialysis centres (if you haven’t used these, they are just like baby wipes). I disinfect my accessories with these wipes, including like you, my TV remote control (I do have the TV on in my room when I’m setting up). Disinfecting any surface is only a matter of pulling a couple of these wipes out of the container and wiping. It quickly dries by itself.

I don’t have any jugs to disinfect. For acid clean, we are supplied with 5 litre jugs of ordinary table vinegar. It takes about 3-4 of these per month when dialyzing 6 times per week. And as I’ve mentioned before, I get my bicarbonate delivered pre-mixed in jugs, so it’s a new jug every time.

I only wash my hands like any normal person does, and they are dry enough as it is. If I washed them for 3 minutes every time, I don’t think my skin could stand it. But I am very careful about maintaining sterile or clean technique when manipulating things where appropriate. If I happen to accidentally touch something like the end of a connector, I put an alcohol swab to it, or I just discard it and take a new one. So, I’m very careful about things like that. Similarly, if I drop anything on the floor, it goes straight into the garbage and I wash my hands before proceeding.

The room is just kept sensibly clean and free of dust flying around. No special precautions, really.


We were told to wash 3 minutes they even gave us an egg timer so we could time ourselves. I believe the training manual says 2 minutes. My hands do get really dried and at some points it gets painful to wash.

Do your trainers recomend particular brands of antiseptic soap and hand sanitizers? Some are very irritating and may not even be for professional use.

They do not recommend a particular brand. We are told to alternate brands
(under the therory one could get bacteria resistance useing the same kind over and over again) We were also told not buy and use the refill bottles for a particular brand. We aren’t so fortunate as to be supplied the bleach wipes so whenever I do the bleaching I wear gloves.

My hands get dry too so I moisturise them as much as I can. I usually slather it on before I go to sleep after Ive hooked up. Dry hands are more prone to carry bacteria, so keep your hands moisturised.

Hi Heather,
we actually buy from a company ( at our cost) the same microshield handwash that they use at the hospital. I being the carer for my husband wash my hands and wear gloves while setting up the machine. We were told it wasn’t necessary, but I feel that since people carry bacteria on their skin it is necessary. The hospital refuse to supply the gloves also, even though my husband is a hepC carrier, and I do remove his needles for him. I feel that they should pay for the gloves, but the don’t.

I sometimes feel that in centre are a bit slap happy when it comes to cleaning and infection control. Maybe if they were alittle more padantic about then, maybe there would be less infections happening in fistulas etc etc.
I think it pays to be paraniod when it comes to hand washing etc etc.

cheers Queenie

I usually try to keep a bit of alcohol gel handy, you can get it in any good chemists/farmacy/drugstore.
Doesn’t react with my skin. Does make it clean.
It comes, I think in pocket sized & larger dispensers.
An example brand name is ‘clean & dry’ hand gel from Superdrug.

Queenie, you most certainly do need to wash your hands before setting up the machine, and then again when you cannulate. I dont know why they would say you dont need too :shock:
And if your partner has hepC and you dont, then absolutely wear gloves! If you have any, wear some eye protection too. You can pick them up cheap. You dont need to wear gloves while your actually setting up the machine, and priming. Just wear them when you could be coming into contact with blood.

sorry amba I wasn’t clear enough. :slight_smile: We do have to wash our hands, but they told me I dont have to wear gloves while setting up. I still feel that I should even with setting up because I feel it is better to er on the side of caution.

I don’t do any canulating, so I don’t have worry about eye mask’s. :slight_smile:

I hope I said it right this time…lol… MY fingers do tend to get ahead of my brain…lol…

cheers Queenie

Oh I get you now Queenie. I know what you mean about wanting to be over cautious. I often wonder though, how clean are gloves? Are our scrubbed hands cleaner?

Sterile technique is more than enough when setting up. As long as you don’t touch anything that will be in direct contact with blood when setting up tubing, syringes, etc., you’re Ok. All the connections are designed to be set-up without touching any mating surfaces. As was discussed previously, gloves are clean, but they aren’t sterile unless they are surgical gloves. Besides, as you are handling packaging, etc., you’re touching stuff. So even wearing gloves, your only protection is sterile technique, not the gloves. I don’t suggest anyone ignore their own training, but really, you don’t need gloves except when cannulating someone else (mostly to protect yourself against their blood), or doing anything where you might come into contact with the person’s blood.

I do everything for myself barehanded, as I was taught. I only keep a box of gloves and masks in the room in case I need my wife to help out with something (such as on the rare occasion when an already taped-up needle site starts to bleed). I don’t absolutely need her help in such cases, but sometimes it’s handy to have another pair of hands.


I know the general gloves arent sterile, I just wondered actually how clean are they. I think I would trust my clean hands more so than gloves when setting up the machine. They are expensive too!

Surgical gloves are sterile but your average run of the mill latex gloves are not sterile. Actually dialysis and related are aseptic not sterile. Aseptic means something is as clean as possible without being totally sterile. Gloves are worn to protect you. They wear them incenter because they are protecting themselves against all the many pts. they come in contact with. They are actually worn there because it’s and OSHA regulation and healthcare employers have to provide ppe’s (personal protective equipment devices) for staff. Disenfecting protects you much more incenter. It’s important at home too but not as important as incenter where you’re exposed to much more than you and your own surroundings. Marty, keep being obsessive; you don’t miss a trick and that’s one of the things I admire about you and the care you give your father! Forgot who, but the advise about the dry cracked hands was right on. The skin is the biggest organ of your body and it’s what protects you from infection, which can enter through the smallest crack in the skin so wear those gloves. Lin.

I know Lin. Im a nurse as well as a hemo patient :smiley:
I just wondered if the non sterile gloves are clean, cleanish, or filthy dirty lol Obviously probly no one on here knows, was just a thought I was pondering. They cant be too dirty, as they are also used to prevent transmission of germs when sterile technique is not needed.

Sorry, hard to remember or know who is a nurse or such In the unit they “might” be clean! I’ve seen the ambulance drivers and EMTs reach into the boxes without washing hands. For at home pts. they are in control over how clean or sterile things are, which is great. I’ve often wondered though how clean they are going into the box! Lin.

These are good points about aseptic technique. I have yet to resolve this issue for myself. I am thinking about it alot as to what rules I wan’t to observe when I take dialyis home.

In the units I have been in, as I have said previously, aseptic technique is a joke. Something I have noticed that bothers me is, staff wash their hands about 20% of the time. So, all those unwashed hands with bacteria from the previous patient brushes against the entrance to the glove boxes, so it is impossible to have any true aseptic technique in the unit evennif the gloves are aseptic.

When I take dialysis home, like I said, I am thinking of everything I should do to follow aseptic technique. I am listening to everyone’s opinions, but what is opinion and what is fact -that is the question?

Here’s my choice…

Clorox Wipes

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Jane, Don’t be overly concerned! I’m sure your training nurse will do a very good job of explaining and teaching aseptic and sterile technigues to you. Don’t forget that at home we’ll be exposed to far less than in the unit.

Gus, You’re a hoot lol but I buy those wipes for my husband to take to work; especially in the Winter months when coworkers seem to all have colds he wipes the phone and doorknob to his office! Lin.