Septicaemia is a common and potentially lethal hazard of haemodialysis and renal transplantation; it is usually caused by Staphylococcus pyogenes. In 6 patients with S. pyogenes septicaemia, fatal endocarditis and spinal osteomyelitis have each occurred once, and 3 patients have had recurrent episodes of septicaemia. The management of septicaemia in these patients must include a search for metastatic infection, and prolonged therapy with 2 antistaphylococcal agents is necessary to ensure eradication of infection. Access site infection in dialysis patients must be treated vigorously, and recognized as potentially hazardous by patients. The risk of sepsis in dialysis and transplant patients cannot be excluded, but devastating consequences may be avoided by simple measures.