During the four month period, from December 1988 to March 1989, there was an outbreak of Heinz body positive hemolytic anemia in 34 patients undergoing hemodialysis in a 500-bed hospital, Seoul, Korea. The episodes of hemolysis were not reduced by changing the charcoal column and reverse osmosis system, or by adding ascorbic acid to the dialysate. The concentrations of nitrate, copper, aluminum and zinc in the treated water were all within the standards for hemodialysis. The chloramine concentration of the treated water was over 0.6 mg/L, markedly exceeding the allowable level of 0.1 mg/L. This high level of chloramine was proved to be due to the contamination of the water source by raw sewage. After we changed the source of water supply to another, no more episodes of hemolytic anemia occurred. It is concluded that chloramine is one of the major contaminants causing dialysis-induced hemolytic anemia and regular determinations are necessary, especially during winter and dry seasons.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine