Medicare Investigates Dialysis Center for Injecting Patients with Cleanser, Bleach

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TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo.—Seven patients were hospitalized and now a dialysis clinic is being investigated on the suspicions of injecting patients with bleach or other cleansers.

Currently, two of the seven patients have been released from the hospital and patients are expected to recover fully. The dialysis clinic, which is on the premises of the Cedars of Town and Country nursing home is closed till Medicare inspectors finish their investigations.

U.S. Renal spokesman Tom Weinberg told St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the incident was "a one-time human error." 

When the machines are disinfected, bleach is added to the tap water and for 30 to 60 minutes the tubes are flushed out to make sure the chlorine levels are where they need to be before a patient gets dialyzed. When that is improperly done and the cleansers enter the blood stream a patient can have side effects such as low oxygen or headaches or as severe as comas and death.

U.S. Renal purchased the clinic in September from Premiere Dialysis Centers.
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