Bessemer Kidney Center, one of about a dozen dialysis clinics owned by Fresenius Medical Care North America, recently was shut down after a report by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) noting multiple infection-control deficiencies and citing two infection-related deaths.
The report also referenced infection-controlled deficiencies during the past two years at 11 other Fresenius-owned dialysis clinics throughout the state. The majority of deficiencies were related to infection control, disinfection, hand washing or glove use.
The Bessemer Kidney Center was cited in an inspection report dated May 15, 2012, which found deficiencies for infection control, glove use and disinfection of services. A follow-up inspection the next month found that the center had corrected the deficiencies.
Fresenius closed Bessemer Kidney Center last month, which was about a year after two patients died and several others were hospitalized during the course of several days. Infections are the second-leading cause of death behind vascular disease for dialysis patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vascular disease, a circulatory system condition, is a form of cardiovascular disease primary affecting the blood vessels.
Fresenius, the world’s largest provider of dialysis products and services, is already facing wrongful death lawsuits alleging that its dialysis products GranuFlo and NaturaLyte were improperly labeled, which led to unintended overdose when toxic levels of bicarbonate built up in the blood.
High levels of bicarbonate have been found to cause serious health complications including sudden cardiac death. Both GranuFlo and NaturaLyte are used in both Fresenius-owned dialysis centers as well as clinics owned by other companies.