The Illinois Department of Public Health keeps records of dialysis center inspections, which are supposed to be done at least every three years for every dialysis facility in the state.
The inspections can cover anything from sanitation practices in the center, to equipment issues, to training.
Attached, for example, is the most recent report for Fresenius Medical Care in Berwyn -- also known at the time as RCG Midamerica -- which is the center where Teresa Gaytan was getting her dialysis treatments when she died.
Fresenius -- the corporation that owns the clinic Teresa went to and dozens of other clinics in the Chicago area -- has some centers where death and infection rates are extremely low and others where those rates are much higher. Fresenius would not comment on the Gaytan case, citing privacy concerns
The report is from December 2009, about nine months after Gaytan was there.
Although these reports are not readily available online, they can be requested under the Freedom of Information Act.
Below is a sample letter you can use to ask for a report. Just fill in the specific information for the Illinois facility for which you're seeking information, and send it to the address mentioned in the letter:
Freedom of Information Officer
Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761-0001
To whom it may concern:
This is a request under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act and the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
I would like a copy of the most recent inspection report for the following End Stage Renal Disease Facility (dialysis center) located in Illinois: [Add the name and address of the dialysis facility here].
You may send a copy of the above-referenced inspection report to me at [add your name and address here] or – alternatively – I would be happy to accept the records electronically.
If you have any questions concerning this request, please feel free to contact me at [add your e-mail and/or phone number here]. Thank you in advance for fulfilling this request.
[Your name here]