The characteristics, circumstances, and treatment of 450 pyrexial reactions occurring in 468 patient-months over a period of two and a half years, using a warm single-pass Kiil system, were studied. There is a wide variation in severity of symptoms and morbidity. The incidence of pyrexial reactions has an epidemic pattern within the hospital unit. Patients on dialysis at home have reactions much less often than patients in hospital.Blood cultures taken from patients during each of the 450 reactions showed a growth on 38 occasions, but this was not significantly different from the incidence of positive cultures taken simultaneously from control patients during haemodialysis. Reactions were not correlated with bacterial growth from the blood compartment of the kidney before dialysis. There was no difference in incidence of reactions when using different types of equipment which were either a central tank distribution system with bedside monitors or chemically- or heat-sterilized individual proportioning pump systems. Reactions were also noted with the disposable coil kidney and recirculating single-pass (R.S.P.) system, but presented different features from those of the Kiil kidney.The incidence of reactions was not related to the albuminoid nitrogen content of the water supply. Reactions were not abolished by deionization of the tap-water.
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