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This site is dedicated to, and in memory of my loving father, Mickey, who died on July 14, 2010. Mickey struggled with being a dialysis patient, because of how he was treated by some staff. He, as many patients, did not deserve to encounter what he experienced e.g. varying degrees of retaliation as a result of reminding staff to implement correct practices, including, but not limited to, infection control. We both brought forth concerns about the lack of correct infection control practices being implemented
THANKS TO PROPUBLICA, tracker I LEARNED WE HAD REASON TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT INFECTION.-- In review of the dialysis facility reports (DFR) presented by ProPublica's ongoing series of addressing care in dialysis facilities, I learned that the facility he went to had high infection rates for the time that we brought forth concerns-- (as we continued to observe incorrect practices being implemented, we reported such, however, no one would listen).
Quality Safe Delivery of Care is the Expectation of Every Patient
Mickey always said ----ask your nurses, dialysis technicians and physicians --
What kind of care would you, or your loved one,
problems in dialysis facilities -
(1) staff education/training
This site is dedicated to "Mickey" because he loved life, in spite of obstacles he encountered during his dialysis journey. He had courage and determination. This picture, taken several years ago, is after finishing one of his dialysis treatments. Behind him, left to right; his son-in-law, Chuck, who was more of a son to him, his daughter, Roberta, and his daughter, Suzy (Chuck's wife).
Mickey experienced retaliation from staff of which the physician would not believe. Mickey, almost weekly (treatments were 3x/week) had to remind staff to implement correct infection control practices. When we asked about infection rates at the facility, we were told that there were minimal to no infections. As I read through a report of the facility, I learned that in 2009, 63% of the patients had an access site (fistula or graft). I, further. learned that in 2008, 41% of the patient had an access-site infection. Mickey (and, myself, his daughter) brought forth our concerns consistently when we observed incorrect practices being implemented. We reminded staff to implement correct practices and perhaps this is why Mickey never acquired an access-related infection, but 41% of other patients did. Just a question to think about. The retaliation that Mickey experienced because of his being outspoken to ensure he received safe care was uncalled for and he suffered emotionally because of such.
Mickey, a well-educated dialysis patient, tried to be as involved in his care as he could, or rather as staff/physician would allow. Often asking questions, or questioning what was being done to his body (treatment-related) was not received well by some in the unit. He received quality safe care from some staff, obviously, who deeply cared, however, from others, he received that which no patient should experience, including, but not limited, to emotional distress. It was distressing for him when he had to remind staff to implement correct procedures (e.g. infection control), prior to inserting needles, or when removing needles. Not all staff, of course, but it seemed to be the same staff that he needed to remind. Often, behaviors exhibited by staff showed annoyance. However, it was his body and he was implementing his own self-protection. There were times when he, and his family, wished that there was a better understanding, by those in the unit, of how important it is for the patient to be involved and fully educated, in order to work as a team to prevent errors. Patients can prevent mistakes and often as a result of their being fully educated, they have prevented such. He could tell, as most patients, which staff or physicians sincerely cared and which did not. Patients knew. Mickey died on Wednesday, July 14th, 2010. It is in his name, that Advocates 4 Quality Safe Patient Care will continue to advocate for quality safe care for all dialysis patients.
(Goodness, is that a hazardous waste can within five feet of Dad?)
Attention -- DOES YOUR DIALYSIS TECHNICIAN, or NURSE NEED TO BE REPORTED? It is mandated that dialysis technicians be certified and nurses be licensed. Technicians, and nurses, should be following their facility's procedures/policies, as well as federal and state regulations. As noted in the surveys (inspection reports), many technicians and nurses are not doing such. If you have had a negative outcome, or a loved one has died, as the result of a technician, or nurse, not following correct practices, a complaint can be filed-(you can remain anonymous)
For Dialysis Technicians -
Information contained herein, with the exception of inspection reports, state and federal information, and other news items, are the opinion of Roberta , Dialysis Patient Advocate.