PHYSICIANS DIALYSIS One section of center closes for health evaluations

Five patients treated in the same area experienced symptoms of infection.
BOARDMAN -- Another patient of the Physicians Dialysis Center on Boardman-Canfield Road has been hospitalized with signs of infection, bringing the total number of the center's patients hospitalized this week to four.
Three patients who showed signs of infection Tuesday remain hospitalized, and the center is trying to get another patient, who is showing the same symptoms, to go to the hospital, said Terry Proveaux, a spokeswoman for the center's corporate office in Nashville, Tenn.
All patients had fevers and chills, she said.
Proveaux said the center suspects a fecal contamination from a single source got into the blood stream of certain patients.
Finding the source
Patients undergo dialysis three days a week for three to four hours at a time. The patients who showed signs of infection were on the Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday schedule, and all were stationed in the same section of the center, Proveaux said.
This section has been closed as the Ohio Department of Health works with the center to run air, water and other tests to locate the source of the infection.
Preliminary test results on the water haven't shown any problems. Results of tests on the air will be in next week, Proveaux said.
She said all patients are in stable condition and doing well.
The three patients who went to the hospital Tuesday told center personnel they did not feel well when they came in for dialysis. They were monitored during treatment and taken to the hospital because their symptoms continued.
In August 2000, the Physicians Dialysis Center on Belmont Avenue in Youngstown was closed for a month after 20 patients became ill, and one died because of elevated levels of bacteria in the water supply used in treatments.

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