Luftkin Lowdown

With the news of the Luftkin dialysis clinic being spread nationwide, a few dialysis patients have been, shall I say, a tad unnerved.  Let me try to explain things to the best of my knowledge.

The answer is bleach.

The questions seem to be escalating. 

I don’t know what happened at the Luftkin dialysis clinic, I wasn’t there, nor have ever been there.  But I do know a few things about dialysis and the way a clinic works.

Bleach for example is sometimes used to “wipe down” the machines, chairs and other equipement that the patient touched, so as not to cross-contaminate. 

The bleach is at  1:100 ratio and is just strong enough to clean the equipement.   We soak thick tossable wipes in this solution and use after the patient is off the machine and out of the dialysis chair.  It never comes in contact with the patients blood lines or dialyzer, it just isn’t possible.

Side note: if the company/clinic uses “reuse” or using the dialyzer for a certain amount of times for the same patient as long as it passes all tests, they use a sterilent called Renalin.  There is a process the tech’s use to get rid of the sterilent before it is used by the patient, along with a double check to make sure it is “clear” or free of chemicals.

Back to bleach.  The only other time we use bleach is to disinfect the innertubbings of the machine, which is usually done once a week or after a “isolated” patient -i.e. hep b patient- the way I have been trained to do it and most dialysis clinics do it is we have specialized containers that have a port at the top that fits into the “acid”, or potassium bath, wand (the red thing).  Meaning, we don’t use syringes.

Never in my five years of dialysis practice have I ever had to draw up bleach with a syringe.  It just makes no sense to do so. 

Now again, I will say that we don’t know for sure what happened in Luftkin and for sure this story is no where from over. 

But it seems to me that this was done deliberately. 

The action of taking a syringe (the syringes tested for bleach at Luftkin) and filling it with bleach.  Then walking to the patient and injecting the bleach into the bloodlines seems to have been done on purpose for there is no other way bleach could have entered the closed circuit of the bloodlines and dialyzer.

It just isn’t possible.

It is very sad that this happened.  Our patients are already afraid enough to come and be stuck and live their lives around the rules and restrictions of the dialysis game, now they have to fear the people who are taking care of them.



~ by Kim on June 4, 2008.

3 Responses to “Luftkin Lowdown”

  1. People at my dialysis center said there is no longer any reason to pull bleach into a syringe but in the past, that was the practice to clean some machines (older than what I use, I assume) but even then, those syringes were huge compared with those used to deliver meds
    Which to me still indicates something very awry with the person who administered the bleach

  2. I believe you are correct, very sad indeed.

  3. That is bad.

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