Is testing water for renal dialysis important?
– An evaluation of the Victorian program for monitoring dialysis water. Trainee: Clare Murphy Placement: Environmental Health Unit, Department of Human Services, Victoria. Dates: February-June 1999 Abstract Renal patients require high quality water for haemodialysis. In Victoria, dialysis clinics send water samples to the State Chemistry Laboratory (SCL) for chemical analysis. Clinicians compare results with American Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) standards. We evaluated the effectiveness of the program to identify improvements. We described the program arrangements, surveyed haemodialysis providers, and analysed data for 1998. Clinics tested water before establishing dialysis machines and six monthly thereafter. Clinicians reported human illness where water contained chloramines and copper. Seventy percent of 311 samples, and 6% of 147 reverse osmosis water samples failed AAMI standards. Many of the failed tests have a potential public health impact