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November 1979

Bacteremia in the Hemodialyzed Patient: A Persistent Problem in Spite of Technological Progress

Author Affiliations

Georgetown University Hospital 3800 Reservoir Rd NW Washington, DC 20007

Arch Intern Med. 1979;139(11):1223. doi:10.1001/archinte.1979.03630480013007

In this issue of the Archives (see p 1255), Nsouli et al have reviewed perhaps the largest series of bacteremic episodes in patients with acute or chronic renal failure undergoing hemodialysis. They report strikingly high incidences of bacteremic infections in both groups: 9.5% in patients with chronic renal failure, and nearly 11% in patients with acute renal failure. These data are of interest and importance in reminding the nephrologist and internist caring for patients undergoing hemodialysis to be constantly alerted to the strong possibility of septicemia and its complications.

In addition, the report by Nsouli et al brings into focus the contrasting patterns of bacteremia in patients with chronic vs acute renal failure. In chronic renal failure, the most frequently cultured organism in bacteremic infections was Staphylococcus, occurring in nearly 60% of instances. The most common single organism was S aureus; however, these staphylococcemias were associated with a relatively low