Hemodialysis (HD) is the most commonly used treatment in patients with end-stage renal failure or disease (ESRD) worldwide. Blood-borne viral diseases are the major causes of mortality and morbidity in patients on HD. This study aims to analyze the prevalence and to concentrate on the key risk factors that are responsible for hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in patients on HD visiting two dialysis centers in the city of Quetta in southwestern Pakistan. The overall incidence of HBV was found to be 16.1%, the overall incidence of HCV was found to be 43.2%, and two patients (1.6%) were found to be positive for both HBV and HCV. HIV was not found among patients seen at both hospitals during the study period. The main risk factors for development of a viral infection were the length of time on HD (p = 0.007), number of sessions (p = 0.001), and level of education (p = 0.092). Biochemical and hematological parameters including urea, creatinine, uric acid, and calcium levels, red blood cell count, white blood cell count, hemoglobin levels, and platelet count were also studied in patients on HD. HD is becoming one of the major factors causing a viral infection because a patient can possibly become infected during an HD session via a blood transfusion, dialysis machines, instruments and/or other contaminated equipment. In order to control the spread of viral infections, increased public awareness, vaccinations, and health education programs for both health care providers and patients are needed, and proper screening programs should be instituted before dialysis is performed.
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