Major Problems Found at UCI Irvine Dialysis Center

A surprise inspection of the University of California, Irvine dialysis center found, among other things, chairs and walls spotted with blood, nurses who didn’t wash their hands or change gloves and rusted out equipment, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Findings in the 70-page report could jeopardize the center’s Medicare funding. It serves about 120 patients and a Feb. 10 letter from the California Department of Public Health warned Medicare funds could be cut off if a correction plan wasn’t submitted within 90 days.

The university submitted a correction plan to regulators Friday and UCI spokesman John Murray said following the inspection staff were retrained and a new medical director and nurse manager were appointed.

Broken equipment was repaired or replaced, according to the correction plan.

The findings included:

  • Nurses and staff failed to monitor patients’ dialysis fluid.
  • The center had become unsanitary — dialysis chairs and walls were spotted with blood, and nurses and staff failed to disinfect syringe stoppers, chairs, dialysis machines, thermometers, IV poles and other equipment
  • Dialysis equipment was rusted, a dialysis piping system was held together with gray tape and staff failed to clean the facility’s water treatment system.
  • Nurses failed to change gloves, wash their hands and wear protective gowns while treating patients. Some were not trained in infection control.