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Are you on dialysis?


Updated March 23, 2009

Are you on dialysis?

A patient is treated on a dialysis machine.

Photo: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images News
Dialysis, also known as kidney dialysis or hemodialysis, is a medical procedure where a machine acts like a kidney and filters and cleans the blood. People who are on long-term dialysis (about 350,000 in the U.S.) have a significant chance of being hepatitis C positive (up to 15%). This is probably because dialysis units have many opportunities for cross infection and contamination if not properly used, cleaned and maintained. While dialysis is considered safe and is an important treatment for many people, if you're on long-term dialysis, you should get tested for hepatitis C.
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